Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

Changes, changes and more changes...

Well, it's been a long time since I've posted anything here. Summer has flown by and fall is probably right around the corner. For us, things have been changing.

  • Gabriel finished up his days at HeadStart. After 2 years there, it was sad to see him stop going but while we will miss everyone, it was time for him to move on.
  • Our fish Blue/Azul died after being with us for 2.5 years. We brought him to IL with us from MI in a chinese soup container with holes in the top. He was a great beta fish.
  • Gabriel started Kindergarten at Gates Elementary, just 3 blocks from our house. He goes to a special Kindergarten class in the morning and lunch and then goes to a regular Kindergarten class in the afternoon with a 1:1 aide. He is doing wonderful and is just in the beginning phases of learning to read.
  • We all went on vacation to Fountain, MI (near Ludington) for a week. We rented a great house with my sister and her family and had a fun time.
  • The girls visited us in IL for a month and Gabriel had a great time playing with them.
  • Gabriel left HeadStart and we started him at a local daycare center called Hometown. I'm not thrilled with them but they are ok for now. We've been looking for someone to come to our home and watch him but it's hard to find someone for morning and afternoons and not have to pay a fortune.
  • Just about a week ago, we lost Gracie to cancer. We recently found out that although we had her leg amputated to get rid of the bone cancer, it (or something new) had spread and infected her lymph nodes. We chose to keep her at home and comfortable until she wasn't any more. That came last week. She couldn't eat, drink, poop or walk...we knew it was time. It was heartbreaking to put her to sleep but we all know that she's in cat heaven now and is whole again and not hurting. That's what counts. We had her cremated. We love her and I miss her everday.
  • We took Gabriel to a cool indoor waterpark called Coco Key in Rockford, IL for an overnight stay and play just before he started Kindergarten. We had a great time swimming, swimming, swimming.

All in all, we've had a good summer and enjoyed alot of outdoor time, swimming, yard work, landscaping and more. Hope all of you are well too.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Gym Visit - 3/22/09

Someone on a local autism board recommended a local gymnastics place that was offering a "special needs" date and time for the kids to come and play. We decided to check it out. $10 for 1.5 hrs - well worth the money!! LOL Gabriel had an awesome time...he especially liked the "cheese pit". It's actually a pit full of foam cubes but he thought they looked like cheese. It was a great time and I think we'll go back next month too!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Update on Gracie

So Gracie is doing really well. It was a little scary at first but she's getting better at walking and stronger by the day. She is very annoyed to be stuck in the spare bedroom still and has managed to pull out about 8 of her staples. Good thing we are heading to the vet on Monday morning.

We did get the pathology report back on the was bone cancer. But the good news is that she doesn't need chemotherapy - can you imagine? The vet hospital checked her out so well that they didn't find a sign of cancer any place else. We still need to take her every 3 months for the next year for an exam and special chest xray to make sure. The oncologist says that this could just be primary site cancer and that means that it was only located there and hasn't spread. She is one lucky cat.

Hopefully after Monday, she'll be able to get out and about again. I know that Julius is missing her a lot and hopefully they will become friends again. She's a wonderful cat, and I just love her. I'm so glad that she's doing well.

Thank you to everyone for asking about her and all the well wishes. Especially the super cute card that Gracie got in the mail from her friends Duke & Jack (my friend Linda Kaiser's dogs)...funniest thing I've seen in a while.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


As some of you already know, Gracie has been having some issues with her leg. Back on 12/22/08, Robert came home from work to find her limping. He took her to our vet and they found a small "lump" on her right, back leg. We didn't think anything of it since she started walking normally a day later. Within a few weeks, she was limping again, and then normal. This happened a couple times until this past Sunday, 2/22 when I found her limping and she couldn't put any weight on her leg at all. We took her to the vet again on 2/24. They did more x-rays and found that they "lump" had grown and because of it, she had broken her leg. Poor kitty!!

So on 2/25, I took her to a specialist. Now when I say specialist, I really mean it. I saw 2 vets, an oncologist, a surgeon, a radiologist and and endocrinologist. Holy cow!! Ulimately, the decided that Gracie has a tumor on her leg, probably cancer. And because of the break at the turmor site, they can't repair the leg. Our only options were to put her to sleep or amputate her leg. We opted for amputation, so that we could keep her. I left her at the vet on Wednesday, and her surgery was on Thursday. She did great!

We went and picked her up on Friday and brought her home. My biggest disappointment is that they shaved so much of her beautiful hair for the surgery! We didn't know where they would be taking the leg off, but they removed it at the hip. It's kind of odd to look at but we're getting used to it. She has been getting antibiotics and lots of pain medicine, lucky her! And she is learning to walk again; even getting to her food and liter box are hard for her. But the doctors say that she'll learn again in the next couple of weeks and be back to normal. They call her a tripod...which we thought was very funny. As you'll see from the pictures, Gabriel is taking great care of her; bringing her toys (which I think because of the pain meds, she is tolerating, for now). There are a bunch of pics below, but be warned, some are of the surgery site (staples and all) and aren't gross but not pretty either.

We are so blessed to still have Gracie with us. And although we had to pay a lot more for her than we planned, we couldn't be happier to have her home again with us.

She absolutely hates this dumb cone on her head but it keeps her from licking. Below is also the picture of some of the toys that Gabe thought for sure would make her feel better (a helicopter, airplane, robot, car, and another toy from his Build a Bear).

Her favorite spot to sleep is on Mama, as usual (glad that hasn't changed).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New Scrapbook Layouts in 2009

Gabriel with his Occupational Therapist at Rainbow Center - Miss Michelle.
Created using sketch shown.

Our trip to Sycamore, IL and carving pumpkins.

The Sandwich Fair

Gabriel's St. Patrick's Day outfit 2008

Gabriel Playing T-ball in the backyard

Gabriel's first eye doctor appointment

Easter 2008

Gabriel and his St. Patrick's Build-a-Bear, Christian

Blackberry Farm 2007

Lisle, IL - Eyes to the Sky Hot Air Balloon Festival 2007

Gabriel and his Bean Bin

Apple Picking 2008

Gabriel's Advent Calendar 2008

Our visit to 2 Toots Grill in Downer's Grove, IL

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008

Here are all the Christmas pics in one place:

Decorating the Tree - Here is our beautiful tree. Gabriel had so much fun decorating and helping this year. He was really into it.

Advent Calendar - More pics of Gabe opening the daily boxes for his Advent calendar.

Visiting Santa - We saw Santa one evening at Phillips Park. Gabriel walked right up and told Santa what he wanted. He didn't want to sit on his lap, just stood by him. He told him he wanted a Star Wars space ship. Soon after, he decided he wanted Wall-E the movie instead and was very upset that he hadn't told Santa that...but it's ok, he still got Wall-E.

Head Start party - Gabe's school/daycare has a party for all the families at HeadStart. I finally got to take pictures of Gabe with each of his teachers, Deanna, Teresa and Ymelda. p.s. Gabe took most of these pictures!

Baking Cookies - We made sugar cookies this year for the first time. Gabe really enjoyed it! We also had his friend Damian over to play and made more cookies.

Christmas Eve - Traditional mexican dinner of tamales, rice and beans. We watched The Polar Express, wrote a note to Santa, put out cookies and milk, hung our stockings and were off to bed.

Christmas Day - Started early - 7am! Opened presents and played!! Then the Foote family (Nick, Amy, Nathan and Kennedy) all came over. We snacked and then had dinner of steaks, potatoes, corn, bread, salad, etc. We played games and just had a fun time together. Cindy tried to keep Kennedy (she's so cute) but Amy insisted on taking her home!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Misc stuff

Here's some misc stuff with pics:

Aurora Holiday Lights 2008 - lighting of the city Christmas tree, parade and awesome fireworks:

Gabe's new puppy Stitch - not real, from Build-a-Bear:

Gabe reading the paper - Gabe has spent hours and hours pouring over the ad papers choosing just the right items to ask Santa for (like EVERYTHING, except the girl stuff, in the book!!):

Advent Calendars - I made the box one for Gabe (from a kit). It has 25 drawers and we've put in $1, m&ms, Hershey kisses and more - to help him count til Christmas. The tree and calendar are my mom's. She let me have it last year. I just love it! She hand made everything! This was one of my very favorite things to do each year as a child and I'm so lucky that she gave it to me to share with Gabe - thanks Mom!!

Raking leaves - Just a day out raking leaves. Funny that we don't have trees but always have a ton of leaves!!

Halloween 2008

Boy am I behind!! Here are pics of Halloween - Gabriel was a police man. And the coolest thing happened while we were trick-or-treating. We saw a police car driving by, so Gabe waved. The police man, yelled that he loved his costume. Gabe was very proud. Then the police man pulled over and got out to talk to him. Gabe asked if he could drive his car and the officer said yes and even let him turn the lights on! Gabe was absolutely thrilled!