Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mental Retardation

Well....it's official. She has officially been handed that label. I avoided it for as long as I could, but today I read it.

Labels. What do they mean? In this case it means she qualifies to receive Special Education services. But in general.....sigh...

I don't see Joy as "mentally retarded." It is even in her official school report. Mother says she is brilliant. Brilliant....because she is. She is my amazing Joy! She does things every day that blow me away. She figures things out. She enjoys her life. She is amazing.

I get most of Bella's medicines from Walgreens. On the back of their bags is the message, "Labels speak." They are referring to the fact that you can have your instructions printed in Spanish or whatever language you want. But to me, there is a deeper meaning there. Labels do speak.

Joy is an amazing human being. I hope that there are others who will see her like I do. People that will see past the label and see Joy - my amazing Joy.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Joy’s Week

Monkey see, monkey do……isn’t this what big sister does?


IMG_4315IMG_4318Getting dressed….she loves the neighbor’s hat  and……she dressed herself!  I was so proud of her!  The dress is inside out and she only chose one sock, but she did it herself!!!!





Playing and hanging out


Swimming in this horrible heat….speaking of 100+ temps for a month now, I thought her choice of hat was so funny!

IMG_4336august 28 029

Still waiting on our ARD.  I think she is ready to go to school.  She puts her back pack on and parades around the house.  It’ll be here sooner than I think.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Joy’s Week

aug 21 001 - CopyOn Tuesday Joy went to the Klein Instructional Center for three hours to be tested in Speech, behavior, and IQ.  For such a long time period, she stuck with it really well.  Soon we will have an ARD and then she will start school.  Bittersweet thought.





Playing around the house:



Cute in her hat while trying to blow up a balloonIMG_4237IMG_4238

Watching Blues Clues on the ipad


My pretty girl who loves her sister


Can’t forget pizza night and dancing after the movie!




My cowgirls!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Meet the Teacher

The other day I was looking at the website of Joy's future school. Listed on the website was a "School Supply Sale and Meet the Teacher" night. Hmm.....Well, we aren't officially registered.

We did go to our testing on Tuesday. Three hours of speech, IQ, behavioral, you name it, we did it testing. No results yet. No ARD date yet. No official registration yet.

But....I saw this announcement on the school's website and I got to thinking. Hmm....This is my chance. This is my chance to walk through the halls of the school, to observe the teacher, the classroom, everything. Even though I'm not yet registered - they may not like it.

But we did. We went. We walked in and were greeted by a nice lady who offered to help us. No, I explained, we weren't on her list. We hadn't yet registered. We hadn't yet had our ARD meeting. She introduced me to the case manager, the 3 year old teacher and then the 4 year old teacher. Who was the nice lady? The principal.

I am so grateful I went tonight. Her teacher is excited to have her. I was able to tell her a little bit about Joy. There are six kids (including her) in the class. There is an aide. They will attend some of the Pre-K class every day. Joy loved the dramatic play center. She loved the computers. They answered all of my questions. It was the perfect setting. I could ask questions and then step back and observe as other kids and parents came in and out of the room. We stayed a long time. I watched the interactions between returning students and parents and teachers. I watched her teacher hugging her returning students. I watched how at ease the parents were with the teacher. I feel so much calmer now. I am grateful I could meet these people before just handing off my baby girl and outside of a formal ARD or IEP meeting.

I was told by parents and ECI that the old principal did not allow parents to observe the classroom. That was verified by a parent tonight. But they have a new principal and newer teachers. And it felt good. I am glad. I have chosen to send her to the morning session (8 am to 1pm). Then I'm sure she will nap. How I am going to fit her therapies into the week is beyond me at this point, but I'll figure it out.

Happy tonight!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Joy’s Fun Week

School – I did it!  I signed all the papers so the school can test her.  They have till the beginning of October to get that all taken care of.  That actually makes me feel better.  She’ll start before Thanksgiving.  School will be in full swing by then.  The kinks should be all worked out by then and she can come and start a new chapter in her life.  A really good one, I hope.

These two – I love to see them play!  Lizzy told me the other day, “I hope nothing ever happens to Joy.  She is my playmate.”  I love it!


Joy pulled her baby’s crib over to the easel, climbed in, and painted from there.

“Helping” with the new bookcase for Bella’s room and playing in her house.


Jumping on bubble wrap – good times!  Pizza night – Joy’s favorite dinner!


This is one reason I am getting more and more comfortable with the idea of school.  Friends…..Joy has lots of playmates in her sisters, but there is a certain little girl in our neighborhood that she loves to play with.  Hopefully at school, she will make more friends, so she can have more fun!IMG_4159

Our family's trip to Galveston

On the ferry……


Running and playing in the waves


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Love this song!

I sing this song to Joy as I rock her before her nap. I just love its message:

Special To Me
by Rachel Coleman

Today will soon be over
Tomorrow will arrive
Right now I’m going to hold you
Until you close your eyes

Words can’t always sum up
The feelings that I feel
So peaceful when you’re sleeping
I know you’ll hear me still

Singing ‘You are very special to me
And I am very special to you
I know that this is where I am meant to be
I’m glad that my baby is you’

Exactly what I wanted
Exactly who you are
I know we’ll work together
And we will reach the stars

Families stick together
And family lasts forever
Forever, that’s how long
I’ll love you

Singing "You are very special to me
And I am very special to you
I know that this is where I am meant to be
I’m glad that my baby is you"

I know this is where I am meant to be
I’m glad that my baby is you

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Joy’s Week

IMG_3990Becca, Joy’s oldest sister, has been out of town – and she called!!  Joy talked and talked and talked with her.  She has missed her so much.  She kept telling her “Ga-ga home.”  (Becca come home!)






Joy has had a croupy cough – no other symptoms.  Breathing treatments during PT, gotta love it!


The Children’s Museum – checking out the train gears


Pretending to be a vet


Driving a car, taking a temperature


She loved the fake bread!  (How many kids have had their mouths on that today – ick!)




Loved this picture – she enjoyed painting and afterwards we cleaned up.  Later we came back to the art room.   But this time she did everything on her own.  Got her paper, painted, and cleaned up.  She is so smart!  That’s Joy for you, though.  Show her something one time and she’ll do it by herself the next time.




Playing in the Water Works – and putting pieces together


I contacted the school about testing her for PPCD.  I will go up to the school on Monday or Tuesday to sign the authorizations for testing.  She won’t start school on August 22nd because they have 90 days to get all the testing, evaluating, and everything done.  Oh how I hope this is a good idea.  I hope.  I hope.  The structure will be good.  I hope there is more than just structure for her there, though.  We do structure here.   I hope it’s great for you baby girl!  Love ya Joy.