Happy New Year!
It’s true, we have been woefully inadequate in updating our blog with all our adventures. Life (and work!) have gotten the best of us. Mommy has been posting our fantastic pictures to Facebook, meaning to help us update our blog, but, well…you see where that’s gone the last few months. After multiple requests in the past few weeks, Mommy finally decided it was time!
We have been busy, busy, busy growing, learning and in general, causing mischief. To catch up on the last few months, we’ve included our favorite highlights below.
We had our pictures taken at school. Our pictures really showcase our personalities around people with whom we are not that familiar…guess which of us has severe stranger danger??
(And we tried for a retake - same result!)
But we are cute together!!!
October was a busy month! We did the 2013 Buddy Walk at Seattle Center at the beginning of the month. It was a LOT of fun and an absolutely GORGEOUS day! Thanks to all those who contributed on our behalf, we raised over $1000 for the DS community!
Our favorite person, our Aunt Rachel, came with us that day as well ... you can see she had a lot of fun!
Later that month, we went pumpkin picking with Sissy and her boyfriend, Nico and had a fantastic time. What an amazingly beautiful day and gorgeous fall we had this year!
|Sissy participated in the fun!|
|Nico, Sissy, and Kaet...with Daddy in the background!|
Sissy even carved us a pumpkin (without a template - she did this BY HAND!)…our very own Elmo!
In late October through the first week of November, we headed to Hawaii for our annual trip. We had SO MANY family members there, what a FANTASTIC time! Our Great Uncle Bob, Great Aunt Nancy, Olmsted Cousins, our OTHER Great Uncle Bob, and our Aunt Kristin, Uncle Ronald, and Baby Cousin Avery all came with us! We celebrated Halloween there and got to swim, play, and have some fun in the sun!
|On our way to the beach!|
|You lookin' at me?!|
|Relaxing by the Lagoon|
|I love my Baby Cousin Avery!!!|
|Kaet the Sunflower Fairy|
|Gracie the Butterfly Fairy|
|Avery the Flower Petal Fairy|
|Hanging out in a cabana...AWESOME!|
|We love our Baby Cousin Avery...|
|And especially her head gear!!!|
|Grocery shopping upon return from Hawaii...this is just EXHAUSTING!|
After we got back from Hawaii, we had a big event. Mommy and Daddy had taken me (Kaetlyn) to the doctor to check on my hearing in August. We found that I had some hearing loss. We tried a protocol that was non-invasive, and after about 6 weeks, Mommy and Daddy realized it simply wasn’t working. Mommy insisted we get seen by the ENT again and when we went back, they checked my hearing again. The news was bad. I had moderate to severe hearing loss, but they thought it was because there was so much fluid behind my ears. Because, well, I’ve pretty much had a constant sinus infection since I was born! So, we scheduled surgery to put in ear tubes and remove my adenoids. The week we got back from Hawaii, I had the surgery. The good drs and nurses at Seattle Children’s hospital took really good care of me. I had some difficulty coming out of the anesthesia, but they worked with me to make it as positive an experience as possible. When the doctor came to get Mom and Dad to take them to me after the surgery, he said, “I’m REALLY excited for you. There was SO MUCH fluid behind her ears and her adenoids were HUGE. I would be surprised if you don’t see an IMMEDIATE improvement.” And it was amazing. Suddenly, I was hearing things I never had heard. Guess what? I love to sing…and I sing WAY more now! :)
Given all the activities early in the month, we stayed home for Thanksgiving, but the greatest gift of all this year was that both Sissy Meg and Brother Brian were with us for Thanksgiving! We got to play and hang out and have a fabulous Thanksgiving. We LOVE our older siblings!
|Gracie, Brian, Kaety & Megan|
|Sissy reads to us|
|All gussied up for Thanksgiving!|
Because all the Spivey kids were here, we also were able to take Family photos with ALL the kids together! Mommy and Daddy were super happy!
|Gracie and Kaety in their Christmas finery|
|They like each other! :) Brian and Meg|
December brought on the holiday spirit and we got to go to a concert at Benaroya Hall with our wonderful friend, Kayla. We then went to visit Santa, who Kaetlyn found to be curious and Gracie flat out didn’t care for! We had a lovely afternoon with our friends, though!
|Kaet, Grace & Kayla|
|Kayla & Kaetlyn dancing|
|Kaetlyn & Kayla curious about Santa|
|Gracie's not having any of this!|
We also did our very first 5K walk! We all participated with Mommy and Daddy’s friends Ginger and Angel and Mommy’s work people in the Jingle Bell run in Seattle. It was a lot of fun and fortunately, the rain held off, so we didn’t get wet! We were definitely cold by the end though!
Finally, December took us on another trip back to the East Coast to visit with our Uncles Kevin and Tommy and their new son, our Baby Cousin Austin! Grammy Chris and Grampa Ward and our fantastic Uncle Connor also came and we had a fantastic family holiday! We read books, ran amok all over Uncle Kevinommy’s house, and in general showed them what they have to look forward to with our Baby Cousin Austin!!! J
|Grandpa reading to the Princesses|
|Uncle Kevin and Baby Cousin Austin|
|Grandpa and Gracie|
|Uncle Connor reads to the girls|
|Notice a theme with Gracie and her relatives...?|
Of course, no holiday trip is complete without the obligatory crud. Kaety and Mommy came down with a nasty flu/cold from which we are still trying to recover. But at least we got to feel icky in the presence of all those who love us and can take care of us!
Through all of the travel, fun, mayhem, and mischief, we’ve managed to grow by leaps and bounds. A few fun things about us:
- Now that I can hear, I am working on consonant/vowel sounds and trying to form more words. Mommy says I’m very good with “NO!” and “OOOOH!” and “UT OH!” Other words I’ve become proficient at include:
Frog Dog Daddy
Kaety Shoe Sock
Sister Cow Mine
More All Done Please
Thank You Down Cat
Baby Bye Bye Hi
Owl Austin (my cousin’s name!)
(and FINALLY!) Mama
- The progress since my surgery has been remarkable and I can now start to mimic what people are saying. Every once in a while, I’ll throw out a phrase like “I did it!” or “My turn!”
- I understand far more than people give me credit for and like very much to tell my Baby Sister Grace what to do and how to behave. I have been known to shake my finger at her and then say something like, “Shshe dadado nnnno da sha de do so” I know what I’m saying even if others can’t quite make it out. And quite frankly, Gracie knows what I’m saying and will usually stop whatever it is that she is doing that she shouldn’t be!
- I haven’t stopped signing and have added another 15-20 signs in the last few months, my favorite being “music” (I love music, dancing and singing!)! I am still helping my classmates learn signs to help me communicate better with them. I often help Mrs. Katrina model the signs to my classmates. I like helping others learn and am a good teacher!
- I am learning that I DEFINITELY have opinions about things and try desperately to let them be known. Mommy says I’m a spirited child. Grandma says the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!
- I’m *learning* about sharing. I am not too good at that yet. Baby Sister Grace and I often find ourselves in time out for not sharing. It’s a work in progress!
- I love to read and am often found sitting in a chair, reading a book to my baby doll. I help turn the pages of the books for my teachers in class, and have been known to sit down and hold the book up as if I am the teacher in class! I did this in therapy for Ms. Erin and Ms. Colleen. They thought I was hilarious!
- Speaking of therapy, 2013 will bring changes to our home, as I will graduate from the Birth-to-Three program in May and start the head start program with my local school district. Mommy is very nervous about this whole thing and I’m sure we’ll have lots more to share on that in the coming months! I don’t know what to think, but I’m sure, since I’m the only little girl with DS in my typical daycare, and I’ve rocked that place, that I will do just fine. (Someone may need to get my Mom a valium though to help her chill out!!!) J
- My bestest friend is my Baby Sister Grace. I love her a lot. I like to hug on her (sometimes a little too hard!) and kiss her and I love to hold her hand when walking into school because, well, I’m the big sister and that is what we do!
- I am a talker. A BIG TIME talker. I mimic EVERYTHING that is said to me and am putting together full on phrases! I started talking, really talking right around my first birthday. I have LOTS of words and often try to teach them to my Big Sister Kaet. It’s kind of nice, because we’re doing this talking thing together. My massive vocabulary includes:
Dog Cow Horse
Dadda Juice Sister
No (one of my favorites) Hello
Mine More Sheep
What’s That? I See You! Shoe
Sock Milk Bite Please Done Baby
Up Down Away Nite Nite Blanket Owl
Bye Bye Hi Mouse Mama (my favorite word!)
- I am a climber. Oh yes. Moreso even than Kaet and that i saying something! If you put something in front of me, I’m going to climb on it, over it, around it, whatever it takes. I. DON’T. SIT. STILL!
- Where Kaet is a lover and is immediately friends with EVERYONE, it takes me much more time to really trust others. I’m very wary and often provide scowly petulant looks at people, even if Mommy says they’re ok!
- Once I know you, though, I’m a snuggler. I love a good snuggle while reading a book!
- Speaking of books…I am ALL about books. I LOVE to read and anyone who will read to me is instantly in the “you’re ok” category. I am great about pulling ALL the books off the bookshelf and reading them. I’m not great at putting them away yet!
- I love to be tickled and play the “giggle game” where I run up to you and laugh in your face and then run away.
- Blankets. Yes, blankets. I love them. They are the most wonderful things in the world. Beware, if you come to our house with a blanket, I will likely steal it. “Binkits” are cool!
- My bestest friend is my Big Sister Kaet. If she’s sad, I’m sad. If she wants to play “sit on Gracie’s head and bounce”, I think that’s wildly funny (Mommy and Daddy do not!). I follow her every lead. Sometimes this gets us in trouble. Mostly, it’s a lot of fun! It's even better when our Sissy is here!
We hope you and your family have had a WONDERFUL Holiday season and we wish you only the best in 2013. We’re gonna ROCK this year!
Love, K&G (and our Mommy & Daddy too!) :)