Saturday, March 26, 2011

Well we are on the way home today. A few of the fun Quinn moments. On the way to Memphis and the way back, I had to bribe Quinn to stop yelling after 7 hours on the road. I simply mentioned that I don't take little girls who scream and throw fits to the swimming pool in the hotel. Both times she quieted right down. What a smarty! We only drive about 8 hours a day, I can't ask her to sit in the car longer then that right now. So both times we went swimming. This morning when we were swimming, one of the ladies down sitting by the pool talked to us a bit, saying how her grandson has a trach. When we were in Memphis, all us girls went out to a super cute little tea house and our waitress talked to us about her kids and how her 14 year old daughter is in a wheelchair, and how her daughter is her inspiration. I tell you, there are lots of kids out there with different issues, they all have so much to offer. I know I am a better person because of what Quinn teaches me, and you can't beat that. The other fun story is Quinn's cousin Knox. He was very interested in her and wanted to talk to her. So I showed Knox how he could ask Quinn questions and how she gives her answers, and he was great with her. Later on he asked her if she wanted to be pushed around, and of course she said yes, and so they made numerous laps around my Aunt's house. I wish I had a picture of them, but maybe next time. I love kids and how they take things for what they are, and he just loved on Quinn like crazy. It was wonderful! Quinn did not show off for the adults like they were hoping for, but they continue to say they do see how Quinn is improving, so that is good for me! Well, better get back on the road, we are coming back to snow and ice and leaving cottonwood trees, flowers in bloom and great walking weather. Well, Nebraska has to warm up sometime, and it sure was nice to be reminded how nice the green leaves look. It's always nice to get away, but at the same time, I'm now ready to get back to teaching, and Quinn is ready for school and therapy, so I better get going!
Here is a day in the Life of Quinn and the Mook family, last Sunday.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Hey there! Yikes the southern accent is contagious! More pictures from our trip. Well, we have not been doing much of the visitor stuff this time. More good time with family. Quinn is usually the center of attention, where they are all willing her to talk or do something, but when everyone is wanting her to do it so much, and giving her all this attention, she kind of freaks out and instead does not really do anything, until they start laughing, then she can't help but to laugh too.
Here we were all going out, like 14 of us this night, and I came home to find the only person I got pictures of was Quinn. I have to say I love her outfit, and she was as cute as can be in it!

The one thing I have really noticed on this trip was Quinn keeping track of where I am. As well as who else is around her. I even was moving around the room to see if she would keep looking for me, and she was quick and would find me, then do her own thing. So she is still not showing off the way everyone would like her to, but everyone see's more improvements, and I see all kinds of changes this trip compared to the last one. I just love her to pieces and enjoy my family just as much! We are so lucky to have such a great support system of family members, here in Memphis and back in Nebraska. Well, we may be going to the Memphis zoo tomorrow depending on Quinn and Mema. A few other things lined up as well that could be lots of fun! Today Grandpa Ron, Quinn, and I picked out the light fixture for her new room in the new house, as well as one for the kitchen table. That was fun! Better then that, Quinn almost slept all night last night, and that is a first over the last 6 days, so I'm hoping that trend continues, as I had to be careful to keep myself in check as I was pretty grouchy from all the sleepless nights. So I'm thankful that things are improving!

Monday, March 21, 2011


We are in Memphis for a bit, but Quinn's dad is back at home working. Having lots of fun, but Quinn still does have her cold!

Here she is with our cousin Kim.
Taking a snooze with Grandpa Ron.
Playing with Ethan.
Can you tell she is the center of attention!
Talking with Grandpa. Well trying to talk, she has only said a few things to him so far.
Three generations, plus me is four. Love this picture.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Prayer warriors - We need some help!
Here are Amelia, Quinn, and Matthew from a few months ago.

We are asking for lots of prayers! Matthew is not doing very well at all right now. He has been in and out of the hospital a lot, and his family as well as Matthew need lots of prayers! My heart hurts for them, and I am reminded how lucky we are, as I pray for their family who is hurting!

To know more of what to pray for, check out their blog. Miracles happen, and God has a plan, sometimes I sure don't understand it though!

Mathew's blog -

Love up the people you have and be grateful for the simple moments!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Here are a few fun pictures from the last week. With Quinn feeling ok here and there. First she went to the park with Chrissy, Jeremiah,and Abrianna playing in the rocks.
Here is Alexis helping Quinn walk in her new little chair, thanks to Chrissy. Quinn does not really want to walk in it alone, but will walk in it with help.
Here is Alexis working on Quinn's hair! I love these girls!

Finally here is Justice reading to Quinn. Since this picture she has been back in the hospital, and we are praying for her to heal up and get home soon!
Colds are improving! Quinn did not go to school on Monday or Tuesday, she never goes on Wednesday, but we are ready for her to start again tomorrow! She is feeling better, she has color in her cheeks and is finally singing and acting up! It’s so good to see her doing well, and equally as good that I’m ready to do something with her in the evening instead of just lay around. It is so nice to have our household feeling better!

Friday, March 11, 2011


Here are Quinn and her school nurse, Miss Nadean. Can’t you just see the love! I appreciate it!

Well, we are still in the slow lane when it comes to getting better, but we are moving forward! I’ve told our colds that they have to be out of our bodies by the middle of this next week, hanging out with us for over 3 weeks is long enough!

Past that, here is a fun story from the week. I called Chrissy Tuesday after school to see how their afternoon went, and was greeted with Quinn screaming in the background, not an I’m hurt scream, but an I’m mad as I can be scream. I found out that Quinn did not go to sleep until a few minutes before they had to go the therapy and was telling Chrissy and Alexis how mad she was to be getting in the car when she wanted to continue with her nap. I’ve felt that way lately and totally understand the feeling, but the action is not going to fly with me. So I asked Chrissy to give the phone to Alexis to hold up to Quinn’s ear, as they were in process of driving to therapy.

I told Quinn hello, and asked her what was going on. The crying stopped, so I knew she had heard me, then it started again, and I asked Quinn what happens when she throws a fit? I heard silence. Then I reminded her that daddy does not do the cuddle time with little girls who throw temper tantrums for no real reason. That was it. No more screaming or crying! That silence says a lot! What a crazy smart girl we have. It’s funny in the sense that she has never screamed or cried at school, and if her teachers and therapists had not seen her at therapy, they would not believe that she can be so naughty. ☺

The follow up to that story is that I met all three girls as well as Stacie at Handprints for Speech Therapy. We try not to talk very much when we are there, as Quinn gets very distracted and would rather listen to us then work on what she should be doing. I however could not wait to chat with Chrissy on how Quinn got quiet so fast. So we said something to the order of I can not believe Quinn got so crazy loud, and in turn after a quick talk with me on the phone, how she got so quiet. Stacie interrupted our very quiet whispering to have us look at Quinn with her arm in the air with her finger waving up high, showing us that, yes, it was her yelling and she was listening to every word we were saying! That is why I have to call Chrissy on the way to therapy, because Quinn does not work well with distractions. Well she did join in the conversation and that is part of speech, but … well she needs to work on her job, not listen in and join our very quiet conversation! What a girl!

She is also improving so much in school. We had a meeting and here are the things that we all said we saw as improvements since the beginning of the school year. I’m simply going to attach the notes that were taken! I still believe it does take a village to raise a child, and we are so blessed to have folks that believe in Quinn and are working so hard to help her continue to enjoy life and improve in so many areas.

Here are our blessed moments from the last few months:

Quinn Otte’s Team Meeting

Update from Home:
• Improved head control
• Followed a direction: “Open your hand” using her right hand and closed it when told to
• Can identify letters, with a little help she is drawing them herself
• Bathrooming: Sits her on the toilet, she needs time to relax and then she’ll go after she relaxes. She goes consistently after she gets off the bus. She’ll sign potty with her left hand or both if she really has to go.
o A Flamingo potty chair has been ordered for home.
Updates from Daycare:
o Quinn is showing Chrissy she knows her letters by giving her an array of letters and mild arm support to touch a given letter.
o At school, Lori is working with her on touching pictures of given objects.
o Power points: cause-effect using switches. She started using a head switch and was able to successfully activate the power point over 40 times.
o Quinn is talking more for Chrissy.
o She enjoys her skateboard, a modified board she rolls on. It would be great to find something similar for her to do at school.
o Therapy plan to try out a power chair again using a mid- mount control.
School Goals:
o Use a variety of means to indicate control or choice
o Will look at increasing goals to a variety of people over a number of days
• Coming out to the house and having team meetings may help Quinn know that we are all working on the same things and we want her to show everyone what she know
Peer interactions:
• Going great! Kids are very interactive with her and she really watches them. They get excited when they here her talk and laugh.
• Some students try to help her move her hands for songs.
• Structured activities are in place and we’re able to continue to add more things
• Doing so much better
• Continues to have secretions but more in the morning
• During story time and is really focused she doesn’t drool as much.
• Health has improved, sneezes a lot but has been very healthy.

Well there you go, it’s not just me, and it’s not just Chrissy, John and me seeing it! Quinn is finally starting to branch out and show other folks that she is as amazing as we know she is!

How blessed we are, and we sure don’t take it for granted!

Here is hoping you are remembering how blessed you are too!

Friday, March 4, 2011


A Day in the Life of Quinn Otte.
March 3rd, 2011
5:45ish - sleeping, but about to be woke up for the day. I think it’s pretty adorable how she is almost kissing her bear.

6:45ish – Going to Chrissy’s. Normally it’s not quite this early, but today I had a meeting.

7:45ish – Chrissy is helping Lupita get Quinn loaded up on the bus to go to school.

8:45ish – Checking in with the nursing office with Nadean and Heather.

9:45ish – Working with Miss Lori (speech therapist)

10:45ish – Working on the Computer with Mr. Matt
11:45ish – Finishing up at school for the day with her Vision Specialist, Miss Wendy. (Quinn does not always have so many folks working with her every day, this was just today, and wow was she busy!)

12:45ish – Going Potty at Chrissy’s house, can you tell how tired she is after working so hard at school.

1:45ish – Nap time

2:45ish – going to therapy with Chrissy. This picture made me giggle as I was looking through her day of pictures! Chrissy did say they were stopped at a stop light.
3:45ish – At therapy with our Occupational Therapist, Diane – we had another miracle moment!
Wow, what a day! While we were at therapy, Diane and Quinn were lacing up the outside of a cow. Quinn was board of the puzzle they were working on earlier, but as soon as Diane got out the cow, Quinn started grinning and said, COW. Then another little miracle happened. Diane was having Quinn open her hand and close her hand over the string to pull it through the holes, and she did it! Usually, when we do work on hand skills, like pulling on string, we help her open her hand, and work with our hands over hers. Her hands have always been very tight, and hard for her to control, but that is starting to change. When Diane said open your hand, Quinn opened her finger and thumb all by herself, and when Diane said to close it over the string she did it by herself too, then they pulled it through, and this happened 4 times in a row! Yeah, the somewhat simple act so many of us take for granted, was a miracle moment for us, with Quinn repeatedly opening and closing her fingers over this bright florescent orange string. Ohhhh, what a great session!

4:45ish – hung out with Grandma Martha, and loving the nice weather.
5:45ish - Getting some love from Blue. Our dog loves Quinn! Quinn loves Blue sometimes! Also eating fruit and granola.
6:45ish – keeping it real, I’m suctioning out Quinn’s trach. When she has a cold or just a common day, we have to suction out the snot in her chest. She does a great job of coughing it out many times, but after a long day she needs a little help.
7:45ish - Meds then time with Dad.

8:45ish – back in bed, with all her equipment, but even with all her stuff, she is just a wonderful sweet, loving, hard working, amazing 4 year old. I can’t say enough how lucky I am to have her in my life!
There are so many other things Quinn does that we can not fit into every day, so I think I’m going to have to do a day in Quinn’s life a few more times over the next few months! Thanks to Chrissy and Nadean for helping with the pictures. What a great day!