Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August 31st, 2010, Happy Birthday to Quinn’s Uncle Nick!

We came home to a new sign! Purchased! Phew, thanks to God for helping this happen, and praying that radon tests and inspections go well this week! Also praying for Riley, Paige, and Morgan as they have had a busy weekend and are such amazing young adults! They are inspiring watching them handle such a huge burden with such grace and strength!

Well, we might just have a few posts this week. We had my Uncle Tom’s funeral this past Monday, and again, Quinn just amazes me with her insight and love. The viewing was on Sunday and there were so many folks that wanted to talk to me about Quinn, and even more interested in getting Quinn to talk. Well, she was not interested in talking to anyone, and was a bit overwhelmed in general, so we were getting ready to leave after an emotional few hours, and went to tell my Uncle’s kids we loved them and see how they were hanging in there. Well, to make a long story short, Quinn told each one of them “love you” after they told her they loved her. The girl’s “love you” were loud and clear, while Riley’s “love you” was a bit more quiet but still plain as day! Sometimes she just amazes me with her love and compassion! At times I don’t really know what she understands as she is only 3 but she showed me again how special she is, and how we have so much going for us!

Monday as we were at the funeral home waiting for the service to start, we had a family member come over and say something to the order of: “This is not meant to be offensive in any way but you are so lucky to have a daughter who cuddles.” We had not taken Quinn’s chair into the service and we were cuddling. Partly because we have to, as she can’t sit unsupported by herself, but at the same time, my reply was, with every negative there is a positive, and I am very lucky that she does love to cuddle. So my reply was simply, I agree, with the obstacles we have, we are still more then fortunate, and we are so very lucky to have a daughter who loves to cuddle, among one of many of her talents!

Another talent is her singing, and that was showcased during the funeral. Pastor John was leading the service, (not to be confused with daddy John). He sang three songs, oh, let me step back a bit, we decided to hang out in the back of the funeral home as Quinn is 3 and does not love sitting for long periods of time, so we were walking or sitting in the back. Let me also state that we have been working hard with Quinn in our own church to sing with every one and stop when the song is over. Quinn just loves to sing! So I bet you are already figuring out what happened. Yup, Quinn sang and sang every time Pastor John was singing a song during his presentation. Well, I thought she was singing quietly and was happy she was singing and stopping when she should. I really thought she was quiet. After the service we had a number of people come over to tell us how nice it was to hear Quinn singing and how she did a great job of stopping when John stopped. Well, I knew a few
folks around us might here her, but I don’t know if it was the perfect spot to carry or what, but we found out that about everyone could hear her singing, and luckily everyone seemed to appreciate it! I really believe my uncle would have loved it as much as everyone else, so good job Quinn for singing your heart out for your Great Uncle Tom.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Quinn and Amelia having a fun afternoon!

What a crazy, exciting, tearful, wonderful, hard week we have had. (beware, this is a long post)

First, we are out of the hospital and doing great! We had another first this week! Monday Quinn was still in the hospital, and doing great, so I went to work. It’s the first time I have been working when she has been in the hospital. I thought I might have a hard time, but we did fine, thanks to Grandma Martha for hanging out with her, and the nurses were wonderful! I really thought we would be going home on Saturday or Sunday, but it was Monday. The doctors did not want to push anything and got lots of antibiotics into Quinn to help her out first. That does however mean Quinn missed her first day of school. Actually due to doctors orders she has missed the first week of school. With that being said, besides all the snot, we have had a great week! Chrissy and Quinn had a wonderful week, with books, and coloring, and trips to the park. Quinn also got to start playing with Amelia. Amelia is also 3 and has had many of the same struggles as Quinn, as she had complications early in her life and is now in a wheelchair with many of the same challenges as Quinn. Amelia is not known for doing much talking, but Quinn is helping her change that. Chrissy has said that the two girls are loving cuddling up on the couch and jabbering away to each other! They have lots to talk and jabber about and they are going to bring out the best in each other, I just know it! They don’t get to spend a huge amount of time together, as both of them are in the excite program at different schools in the morning, and Amelia goes home before her afternoon nap, but I know this experience is going to be great for both of them.

Oh, I mentioned how Chrissy and Quinn were coloring a picture, well Chrissy noticed how Quinn relaxes as she is coloring. The first color she chose was orange, no surprise there, and at first she was coloring small more controlled lines, but 5 or 6 colors later, she was down to brown, and her strokes were huge and free. How interesting is that! I almost feel guilty that I have not noticed that, at the same time, I don’t think I have ever colored that long with her and that many colors! Yikes as an art teacher, I better step up my work with Quinn! To top it off, guess what Quinn did for Chrissy today? Went potty! Yes! Quinn was jabbering to Chrissy, and Chrissy figured out in her “Quinn Whisper” way, that she wanted to go potty, so took her to the potty chair and she pottied a little! Wow! On top of that, she is saying Chrissy in a crystal clear voice! Wow, I’m excited to see where we go from here! I’m on Quinn is amazing over load! You go girls!

I do have to say that one of my favorite moments of the week was Thursday morning as I was waking her up, after getting rid of the snot, we were cuddling and talking about our day, and she started giggling and laughing and loving on me and it was so wonderful! I don’t think anything can top that moment! What a great way to start the day and I needed it, as Thursday was a crazy emotional day. So let’s get to it. Starting out small, Quinn is so smart and likes stimulation of all kinds. Be it books, or music, people, what ever, and if she is not getting it she finds ways to get it, and one of her favorites is to rub her ankle on her wheelchair and she rubs it until it bleeds, so now we are trying to break her of that habit, but she is stubborn and willful and strong, and I love that about her, but wow, we have now, thanks to Chrissy, figured out a way to stop that from happening, with some ladybug material and Velcro around the foot rail of her chair to block her from getting her foot around to where she rubs, but already she is trying to figure out a way to get her foot around the material, wow she is crazy smart, naughty in this case, but crazy smart!
We also met with Dr. Swisher today. It was a pretty good visit, and Quinn has been given the all clear to start school, so that will be wonderful. We did talk for a while about how when Quinn gets sick, she can go downhill so quickly. It was nice for him to talk to us about different options we have ahead of us, if this continues to happen. So we are asking for prayers for Quinn to love school and build her immune system up so she can continue staying in school, because I believe she is going to love it! Just wait until next week for pictures!

Next, we have gotten an offer on our house, and praying everything goes through as we will close at the beginning of October! What a big deal and a great celebration for us, as now we can start working on our plans to start building. I’m not going to get into it to much now, but thanks to a few amazing people and God bringing them into our lives, we are more then humbled and thankful and excited to start the venture of building a house, there are going to be lots of stories and learning opportunities throughout this experience. We met with a table full of people Thursday night to talk about all the special equipment and space planning that will be put into the house to make it accessible for Quinn in all areas. So hold on to your hats, I’m so excited to take you on a joyful ride with us as we get into the building stage. On that same note, if anyone knows of any good apartments, we are going to be looking for one, as we don’t want to live in a box outside of Zeman Elementary for a few months. But Wow, we are excited for this opportunity.

Finally on a sad note, I want to extend my deepest love to my cousins Riley, Paige, and Morgan on the passing of their dad, my Uncle Tom. He was in a car accident yesterday and is now in heaven. I can’t imagine loosing a parent. I feel like we have had our struggles, but some times I am reminded just how lucky we are. So to end I’m sharing a quote I was just given by a friend.
Uncle Tom, you will be missed!

“Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So, love the people who treat you right. Forget about the ones who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth the ride!"
-- Unknown

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Audrey and Quinn watching the parade in Otoe County.

Quinn loving checking out the yellow tractor. No surprise there!

Quinn and Casey taking a nap!

Well I tell you, I never know what the week has in store. School started, so Quinn spent lots of time with Chrissy, and loved it! These are pictures over the last two weeks of fun times with Chrissy.

Past that we have worked at therapy, in fact Quinn was playing an animal game with Diane and was really working hard, and Diane asked her what animal she wanted next and plain as day she said “horse” I had not heard that before, and as I’m talking about it, she has been talking so much more again! She went through a few months where she was not talking all that much just a few words here and there, but lately she talks to you. She is doing a great job answering questions and telling us what she wants. She still picks and chooses who she is going to talk to, but those of us she talks to regularly, she has just been blooming with her talking. So yeah Quinn!

The not so great news was starting Thursday Quinn started feeling kind of yucky! Well Friday at 5:00 we ended up coming to the hospital for her breathing again. A big thanks to Chrissy who took care of her Friday when she was doing ok, and rested and read books, but by the afternoon she was so tired and instead of sleeping, she got caught in a bad breathing pattern and could not get herself out of it. Well Chrissy, Quinn, and I came to St. E’s hospital and did some blood work, some breathing treatments, and ended up checking in for the weekend! I guess we needed some down time. So hopefully we are dismissed tomorrow, as Quinn is doing pretty good, she is just exhausted and needs to sleep, so I’m praying for a very calm sleepy night. She is suppose to start school Monday, and I’m not sure if that is going to happen right away, and that is really sad because the staff there has been working so hard to get everything set up for her to start with the rest of her class. So I’m hoping we leave tomorrow with doctors’ orders for school being good to go, but we will do what ever we need to do. I’m getting pretty good and back up plans, and will do whatever it takes to help Quinn be her best.

As for me and the BetterU challenge, I’m working out, even got a work out in today with her being in the hospital, thanks to daddy John coming in and hanging out with her. I’ve already met with a personal trainer and wellness coach, and I’ve met the other 7 women who I’m looking forward to working with. I’m also super impressed with the child watch they have at Madonna ProActive. After my session last week, I walled in and the girl working was reading Quinn a book and was super excited about watching her. I’m so thankful they are willing to do that, because without that support I would not be able to have this experience. Hey, join me on the experience. Join online to go through the 12-week challenge with me, it’s 1011now.com/betteru, it's not quite done getting put together, so keep checking, better yet the online version of this is free, so sign up and let’s get healthy together!

Well, it’s been a long week and I’m hoping Quinn falls asleep soon, because I’ve got some work to do for school and I’m hoping to get a good night sleep tonight as well. When Quinn is stressed and working so hard to breath, I know it is hard on her, but I think it is almost as hard on me. So some prayers and rest and then hopefully a brand new day tomorrow bringing on a new and improved healthy us!

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Wow, what a busy week we have had, a super amazing, busy week!
I forgot to add in a few weeks ago, Quinn, Casey, and Annette painted the most beautiful painting!

Grandma Vicki, Quinn and a good book, what more can a grandchild want?
Monday Grandma Vicki came to Lincoln to help with the Zeman Art room, getting it ready for this next year. We took a break from working for Quinn to get measured for new magic shoes. We settled on a butterfly design, and it would have looked very lovely with purple straps, but Quinn very clearly picked yellow, so yellow will be what they will be.

Here we are in the process of having her shoes fitted. We will pick up the actual shoes in a few weeks! Yeah for new shoes!

Tuesday we started off at school and spent part of the afternoon at the 10 /11 TV studios. Quinn and Grandma Vicki looked so good sitting in the Newsroom, and of all days I forgot my camera. I don't usually like to talk about my ventures on here that are not Quinn based, but I'm one of six women who are on a journey, the American Heart Association Better U challenge, to change our lives and our hearts. It's a twelve week program where I will focus on me and my health. I'm thankful that they are willing to watch Quinn there while I get my rear into shape, and my mind full of the knowledge that I need to do this for the rest of my life. I filled out paper work and went through an interview and was lucky enough to have been selected to change my life. There are six of us along with a TV news anchor and radio talk show DJ that are all going to be on this journey together. We will have a very busy schedule meeting with personal trainers, dietitians, and speakers, doing all kinds of workouts, eating healthy, all that stuff. We will also be journaling about our experiences, so it's going to be a big deal with a lot of accountability, so I'm ready, I'm nervous and excited, but I'm ready. When the website is ready, I'll put a connection on here for you to go to.
It's a free website where anyone can go through the process with us online, so you can read our blogs, (I'll be double blogging) and get healthy along with us. Also if you see the commercial online or on channel 11, when you see me, listen very carefully for Quinn in the background, as she loved the studio and sang and sang while we were taping. I had to tape my part a few times so Quinn was not quite so loud on it.

Bright and early at Chrissy's house. We have to get use to the early mornings again!

Wednesday was my first day back to school, and in turn was Quinn's first full day with Chrissy. She loved it and loves Chrissy to pieces. Over the last few days they have had friends over to play, went to therapy, the library, and volunteered at the county fair. One afternoon Chrissy got Quinn to take 22 steps! Wow, that does not happen very much at our house! They have been busy.

Thursday after I picked Quinn up from Chrissy's, we rested, that was good.

Here is Quinn with her main Excite Teacher, Miss Rachael. We are getting excited for school.

Look at our great support system now!
Friday we had a meeting at Riley School to fill out papers and meet the team of people working with Quinn as she starts the Excite program during the mornings. I have to say I have always said I loved my job with Lincoln Public Schools, but seeing it from a parent perspective, with a daughter who needs more services then most students, I was amazed and so impressed by the time we were done with the meeting. We have so many teachers, and therapists, and support staff that are excited and want to work with Quinn. It was bitter sweet at the same time, because as we are gaining some amazing people, we are also loosing some wonderful people. So I send out a very sincere thank you to our old caseworker, Physical therapist, Occupational therapist, and Vision therapist. I can only be thankful because I believe we will stay in contact one way or another. Quinn was wonderful throughout the very long meeting and then got to see her classroom. She was acting a bit upset, and
Chrissy picked up on that right away, and figured out Quinn was a bit sad that the other kids were not there. I've been telling people that I'm worried Quinn is going to be scared the first few days of school, but after today, I'm not sure that will be the case. She loved all the people and her teachers are all wonderful, so this should be great. I've talked to the nurse for along time, and still have more paperwork to fill out, but we are getting closer to starting. We have even met the person who will probably be her one on one Para, and she is going to be amazing as well. I'll talk more about that soon. To finish out the day, Quinn did the best at water therapy then she ever has. So all the stimulation she has been getting is not wearing her out, she is sleeping great, and working so hard when she is awake. She is still fighting a bit of a cold, but what a great week we have had.

Here are Jill, and Catalina, a big thank you to both of you, and Jen for all your hard work and inspiration you have given to us, we are grateful! We also give a big welcome to Miss Rachael, we are also looking forward to a great future!

Here is to many more amazing weeks!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Here is part of the family. Riley, Grandma Vicki, Paige, Morgan, Quinn and I. What a great family.
Here are Morgan and Quinn talking and loving each other up.
These next couple pictures are out at the farm after we fed a couple baby cows, Kristin and Karissa were so much fun to be with. Wow, Karissa was so wonderful with Quinn.

Sadly here is our last official visit with Jen, I am sure thankful for all her help with Quinn, and I sure hope we stay in touch and that maybe she will be assigned at a school Quinn goes to in the future. She is an amazing Physical Therapist. We have been so lucky with all the people working with Quinn.
Here is a bad phone picture at the County fair with Lynn, Lucas, Kathy,Quinn, and I, where Quinn and Lucas loved the animals.

Wow it’s been a busy week and we am tired! So hopefully this makes sense.

We started off the weekend visiting the Norfolk area, where we played with friends and visited Grandma Vicki and Grandpa Steve. We got to watch a deer and her two babies run all over the yard. I saw them and carefully picked Quinn up to get her over to the window, and it always takes her a bit to focus to see what is going on and I was hoping they would not run off before Quinn could focus in and see them, and we got to watch them for a good 20 minutes, it was amazing! Those babies were running and jumping all over, and wow, they can move. Quinn was turning her head to watch them, so I knew she was watching them. We followed that up by getting to feed some calves, and it was hot by then and I was not sure if Quinn was really paying attention or if she was in her own world, at that time. Hours later when she was with Grandma Vicki, she started mooing, so that was good to hear. She is such a stinker, sometimes I’m not sure if she is really paying attention or not, but wow does she ever pay attention, even when I’m not sure if she is. Yeah Quinn!

We also got to hang out with family, which is always a wonderful thing. We got to spend time with Morgan, Paige, Riley, Tom, and Alex. Quinn tends to not do much talking when she is around people she does not know, but as she was hanging out with Morgan, who had to have told her she loved her, 20 times, Quinn looked at Morgan and said “I love you, Morgan.” Plain as day. I had to let Morgan know what a big deal that is, because she does not talk to very many people, so that was wonderful!

Goodness, she did well at therapy this week, even though she has a bit of a cold. We started off going to see Suzanne and Stacie, and while we were waiting to get in, Diane walked out to meet a different kiddo, but Quinn wanted to talk to Diane, so she started babbling and getting loud to get her attention, Diane stopped to tell Quinn hello, and then turned back around to talk to her student, and Quinn was not done talking, so she lurched out of grandma’s arms to rest her head on Diane, so Diane was super sweet and loved up on Quinn a bit, and then Quinn was happy and I just sat there in awe of Quinn, recognizing Diane, and not wanting to be done getting her message across until she had some loving! Way to go again Quinn.

Quinn has had a couple of little marks on her left foot lately, and so we have not been wearing her “magic” shoes. I’ve come to find out the marks are not from her shoes, they are from the way she rubs her foot on her wheelchair, and so her shoes are going to help her not make that mark, but we have that fixed too thanks to Chrissy and the guys at Hangers. Well, when we were in therapy, Suzanne asked Quinn if her foot hurt? Quinn said “yes” in this pitiful tone, with a pout on her lips, making her look so sad, and so Suzanne gave Quinn extra attention and Quinn was eating it up. So I asked Quinn, does your knee hurt? “Yes” was her reply, So does your elbow hurt? “Yes”, does your nose hurt? “yes”, so I think all in all she is just fine! Wow, is she ever figuring out how to get the attention she so desperately wants!

We also hit the county fair the other day where she had fun watching and listening to the chickens, and today we met up and talked to our architect more about the house we might be building. So we are still asking for prayers for this one to sell. Wow, are there ever a lot of great people out there.

We also got our first call from Lincoln Public Schools, the nutritionist called to talk to me about feedings with her. We don’t think she will need to do a feeding at school, but we did talk about her eating orally when they try different things out here and there. It was such a positive call, wanting to make sure she is included in every experience, and I hung up even more excited for her school experience. We are going to have a great year!