Tuesday, December 25, 2012

What a fun Christmas morning!
Quinn giggled all morning and was so excited to open presents!
Oh listening to her giggle is the best noise ever!
Happy Birthday Jesus!

She is excited to play with her princesses!

Look at those long legs!  Wow, I have to be careful toting her around, as those long legs go on and on!

Oh the excitement before the paper comes off!  Love to listen to her!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Our top Ten List, and what a wonderful year it has been!

10.Quinn’s dance classes, what an amazing experience to see, I wish you could all see it, oh wait, if you read our blog regularly, you can, although it’s not the same as if you were there.
9.We have starting learning how our government works, and with help have advocated for people with disabilities, and will continue to do so!  Quinn and I talked to senators this last year.
8.Quinn has a Dynovox, that is a computer that helps her communicate with the  rest of the world, it is pretty amazing!  She can really talk now, and so many people can now understand what she is telling them.
7.John is still pretty healthy, and continues to work hard at Lincoln Benefit Life.  Does he ever love Quinn!
6.Quinn started Kindergarten at Maxey Elementary, and we are so thankful for all the teachers, therapists, and nurses who work with her.  Her classmates do such a good job including her in activities, and it's wonderful!
5.I still have a job I love at Zeman Elementary School teaching art.  One fun project we did this year, was paint the city snow plow.  So our artwork will be driving down the streets.
4.Quinn now has a powerchair that she is starting to drive all by herself!  In turn we now have a van that can fit her wheelchair.  Her therapists have worked so hard to get Quinn into that chair, and continue to work with her on walking, rolling, talking, standing, the list goes on and on ...... oh they are amazing!
3.We are now a foster family, and have met some pretty amazing kids!  These are not their hand, as I can't put them in photo's for safety, they are some of my students, but we have gotten so much joy out of our foster kids that we have had, and look forward to the future.
2.We moved out of our apartment, into Quinn’s wonderful new house that has all the adaptions we need for her to be successful!  What a great group of people we have met through the process.
1.Quinn was out of the hospital more this year, then any other year in her life!  She has had lots of colds, but being able to stay home  and not have any major issues, has been so wonderful.  In turn she has progressed and has learned and is really doing so well!  In turn, we have  gotten to go on some amazing adventures.
  Blessings to you all, we are thankful to have you in our lives.  Here is hoping you have a year that helps you find joy and peace in your life.
Susan, John, and Quinn Otte

Monday, December 17, 2012

Quinn's 6th birthday party and dance recital!
snowflake barrets and a beautiful tutu for a wonderful performance.

Chrissy checked in on the girls before the big performance.



and more dancing, and the applause was amazing!
and flowers given after the dancing!  Oh, Quinn loved them!

Wow, what a wonderful weekend!  Let's start with her dance performance!  It was wonderful, there was a huge audience, and the girls were beautiful!  Quinn got into Madonna and started squealing with delight.  During the performance, she saw Dad, Grandma, and Grandpa and stopped right in front of them, but then got going again, and had a huge smile the whole time.  I am so thankful for everyone who came to support her, it was wonderful seeing so many faces there, and I don't know how anyone could walk away from that not feeling good!

The girls even made the front page of the Journal Star news paper.  7 pictures of them, and Quinn was not in a single one, but that's ok!  We are so thankful for her teachers and all the helpers!  I think the article is wonderful!

Then we had Quinn's birthday party!  It was so much fun!
What a beautiful cake!  Thanks Cindy!
Quinn really got to communicate with people this time!  She loved telling everyone that she is 6, her birthday is the 13th, but her party is today!
At the end of the evening, Quinn told me she wanted out of her chair, I did not get her out right away, as we were busy talking with folks, so she told me, she wanted out, take off her seat belt, she was hot and wanted out, she was cold, and wanted out, she was hurting and wanted out.  The best part is that a few folks heard her, and this all happened with in a minute.
I ment to take pictures of the celebration before hand, but here are a few from the end of the night!

What a fun day!  Quinn loved it, and she has not slept so good all night long for quite awhile!  
Oh my cup runneth over!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Quinn helps me remember not to take any moment for granted and once again I am reminded how things can change so fast in our lives.  Life is full of twists and turns, and I don't understand why things happen at times, I am however grateful for family, friends, and my faith.  Prayers for families who are struggling.

Quinn's birthday was much more low key then I thought it would be.  She was so excited about her special day that she was pooped by 7:00, and so we did not get all that much playing in.  We have her big party this weekend, but had to have a little celebration, and we are not fans of pomegranate cupcakes, the rest were good, but after trying the pomegranate one, Quinn wanted nothing more to do with them.  Luckily we have a beautiful cake, made by a wonderful friend for this weekend, and I know Quinn will love it!

Well, I forgot how much Quinn loved balloons.  I told her she could play with it at bedtime, and she transferred the ribbon from one hand to the other as she was playing!  That is a big deal to me, and watching her watch that balloon was one of the highlights of my day.  
Finally we started sending gifts to school.  Wow, look at that support team for Quinn!  We are blessed with a team that is willing to work hard to help Quinn be her best.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Quinn!  6 years old!  You are an inspiration to me, you keep me humble, you help me take the little things into account and keep everything exciting, new, and you keep me thankful!    You on the other hand are smart, you are shy, you love to be the center of attention, yet you only want to show off on your terms.  You love school and your giggle is the most wonderful sound ever.  You love to play concentration on your dynovox.  You are getting better at driving, but still have a ways to go.   You love to read, and give great hugs.  Oh, I could go on and on.  You are so much more then how to come across to most other people, I wish everyone could see you the same way I do.  You are amazing and I am blessed to be your mom!  I love you Quinn!

Over the next few days we have a birthday party, lots of crafts to make, a dance recital, and a christmas card to finish writing and get up her to share!

So I better get to bed, as Quinn's wish from 2008 is going to be played tomorrow at 7:15 on the radio, check the previous journal for more info.  Hmmm, what fun stuff are we going to do, well, it's the first day where we don't have anything planned after school, and so we get to cuddle and play and enjoy some time together!  I'm excited about that!


Friday, December 7, 2012

Another Wednesday, another dance class, here she is with Suzanne, who is her therapist and she is amazing.  In the forground is another dance teacher!  I thought I was going to have to have a talk with Quinn after class, as she was not following directions and driving all over the place, and finally Suzanne asked her why she was not following directions, and she raised her hands in the air, and her chair kept driving, so she was driving it with her tummy, as her joystick had come loose and fell into her tummy, and that is why she was driving so crazy!  Oh I love how she let Suzanne know that she was not being naughty, and needed help moving her joystick back!

Next Thursday is a day you can hear our story again!  A few years ago, we were granted a Christmas Wish from B107.3, and were nominated by our friends Virginia and her family, as well as our friend Erin.  Well now they are replaying some of them, with updates, like a where are they now piece.  Here is the email I got from Gina -

Hi Susan:

Just wanted to give you the “heads up” that your  Christmas Wish and update story will air next week --
Thursday, December 13th at 7:15am. It will repeat during the day at 10:15am, 2:15pm and 6:15pm.
It will then be placed on our website at B1073.com.

Thanks again for sending us such a great update story!

Happy Holidays!
Gina & Joe

So you can listen to it a few different ways!  If you are in Lincoln listen to B107.3, or go to the website and listen to it live or you can click to hear it anytime you want, or there is a free B107.3 app as well.  So check it out if you can!  It was a wonderful moment full of happiness and love, and we are so grateful for the experience.  They surprised me at school, as I was presenting on what I do in the art room.  So listen up if you can.

The website is: http://www.b1073.com/ 

Our other story for the week:  

We went to Omaha for a regular trach doctor appointment, and when I picked up Quinn from school, it was her first day back after being sick for 3 days, and our nurse told us how Quinn was mobbed when they went into the classroom.  I've said it over and over how I love her teachers and her class, as Quinn is accepted with open arms by all of them.  Well, I got to see it for myself, because her classmates were walking by our van going into school after recess, and they were bending over as far as they could, shouting at Quinn to have a good time at the doctors and how they would see her tomorrow, and how they were glad she was feeling better!  Oh, that made my heart so happy!  It was wonderful!  I have to say that the two of us are going to develop complexes, as an art teacher, I get those warm happy hello's at school from all the kids, and now seeing how Quinn does to, we need to be careful not to expect that everywhere!  But boy are we lucky to be loved at our own schools!

So on our way to see Dr. Sewell, we talked about how he really wanted to see her use her dynovox last time, but that did not happen because she slept through the entire appointment.  Well she showed off like crazy.  So now if we have any doctors doubting how smart she is, we can have a doctor back us up.  So when he entered our room, he asked Quinn if she would show him how her dynovox works, and did she ever. She showed him her friends page, and told him hello, he answered back hello, and she asked him how he was, and he answered back that he was fine, but how was she, he heard she had a cold, so she told him she was not so good, and he started laughing, telling her he was sorry she was not good, but was so glad to see how well she could communicate!  She went on to tell him she was ok.  Then he checked everything out, and I had to talk to Quinn about how she needed to listen and not talk for a few minutes.  So she was patient, and then finally asked, all done?  He said not yet, and after he was done, he looked at Quinn and said, now we are done, so she continued to click all done as we walked down the hall and all the way out to the car.  Oh I love her and I love how she is really communicating with other people now.  What a great day!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

As I sit here and try to wake up, I have to say that I love our tree.

Uggg, we are having issues shaking that cold!  Quinn has once again missed school.  Thankfully John has taken the time off this time to stay home and take care of her.  I have been up with her a lot at night. I still am surprised how much snot can come out of such a small body!  It's crazy!  I still say that I am so thankful she is with us at home and we are not at the hospital.

Our fun story is that when she wants to, she can talk a lot!  She went potty on the potty 3 times yesterday for dad, after telling him she needed to.  I love that.

As for me, when I got home, I went over and say "Hey, Quinn"  and got a big "Hey" back, with a smile.  Then after I got more snot out, she said "done".  I don't blame her for that, she wants it out, but still, when she is done, that is enough!

And best for last, she answered me back 3 or 4 times in a row, when we were snuggled up in the chair together, she does a great job snuggling and holding hands, and I love it!  So I tell her I love her, and plain as day I hear it back, I love you!  Sometimes I don't always get everything she says, but that is one thing she can say so clear, and I'm so thankful for that!

So I wish the cold would go away, as Quinn even said she did not want to go to school, but stay home and rest, and that is not like her, as she loves school, but she is just exhausted, so here is hoping and praying that one more day of rest will get her back into the groove and feeling better!

Oh, there is that cough again, so I better get going!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Quinn with her Dynavox.  (it's the the computer in front of her, she uses her eyes to click on what she wants to tell us)

I love Quinn's dynavox!  (Her chair is still not on my love list)  Her Dynavox however is!  I love it!  (Actually I do love parts of her chair, like how she sit's in it so well, so she can use her dynavox, I do love that)  I love it because she can really tell us what she wants!

Today at school she kept telling her nurse she wanted PBS and her nurse did not know what that ment, then they went to computer class and she got to go into PBS kids, and she loved it.

Then when she got home she told me hello, then asked me to take off her seatbelt, and lower her chair, and move the dynavox and get her out!

How amazing is that!  Technology is giving us a great way to experience life!  Oh how I love the majority of technology right now!  


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wow, wow, wow, check out Quinn walking at therapy with Suzanne!  She took over 100 steps at therapy.  We won't mention how she did not talk to Suzanne for the first 10 or so minutes of therapy, but when she got walking, she did great!  Suzanne said they could walk to the sticker box, and when they got there, Quinn reached right into the box, and that is a big deal too!  Hooray for a great day!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Yeah it is official, Quinn does like the tree, as she was in her walker, twice she danced over to the tree and stopped right in front of it, to check it out!  I say dance, because she does not really walk, her one foot is the stronger foot, so she kind of goes at a sideways gate, but she is moving, and I will be very thankful for that!  I just need to get her into her walker more often.  It seems like time gets away from me, and I can't get everything done!  Uggg, if only my personal assistant would show up and help me out! :)
Oh the other fun thing, was that when she was in her walker, she sounded a bit gunky, so I got the suction machine out and sucked out her secretions, I know, kind of gross, but it's the way it is, well, the fun part is that she totally let me do it for a few seconds, then when she was done, she moved away from me!  Wow, that had to feel good for her to do that.  Normally she is stuck and can't move away, and this time, she got to!  Yeah for the freedom of being able to move!
It is finally Christmas season!
I have to say that after being in the apartment the last two Christmas's, I have looked so forward to decorating our house!  I'm going to break you in slowly, as we have quite a bit of Christmas Cheer inside.  So on Thanksgiving we got 4 kids to hang out with us for the weekend.  The two older kids played with John in the basement, but the two younger ones, Quinn, and I got to decorate, and it was so much fun!
I love this set up, this was Quinn's picture from last year, and I love it.  It is also her ornament from last year with her fingerprints, and we do believe, so this is the perfect start for us.

A bit of fun with the Grinch.

We did get to see Santa already, and we messed and messed with poses, Santa and the elves were going to get a good picture, and we finally settled on the two of them looking at each other.  Quinn was not sure about Santa, but as always Santa is amazing!
Then my Thanksgiving project was reworking this cd shelf, I wish I would have taken a before picture, it was the basic black and light wood look.  I actually had it in the goodwill pile, then I changed my mind, and did some painting and work, and I think it turned out crazy cute!  I'll add pictures of the tree later, as I don't want to get this to long.

I do however have to add our fun stuff on the shelf.  It looks so cute.  Oh I was hoping Quinn would be a little more excited about all the Christmas stuff, but I'm hoping she loves is and is just not showing it as much.  Either way, we have had fun with the long weekend, playing with all 5 of our kids for the weekend, but today we are back to just Quinn and I'm looking forward to some good Christmas books and I need some good cuddle time.  I also am writing the big bad letter to her wheelchair company today, so prayers that they are willing to work with us to get this chair into good working condition or help us get into something that does work better, and that I can write the letter that will affect them and help them see how important this is to us.