The Harnisch Family

The Harnisch Family

Jul 30, 2010

Birthday's on the 7's

Macy's in the news!! :-)
I used to work for KETV Channel 7. Yup my first gig out of college. Worked there for about 3 years and LOVED it! Ever since I have been a loyal KETV Newswatch 7 viewer.
Of course, it only seems appropriate that my Little Miss Macy be featured on their "Birthday's on the 7's" segment :-)

blogger's warning: it's not the most high-quality production. phone taping the television. Yep this is what my high dollar private college journalism degree has gotten me (today anyway) hehe...but, hey, it's all I care to take the time to do!!

Here's a still screenshot (taken of the TV with my iPhone) in case you are unable to view the video:
John Oakey's voice-over: "Macy Lee Harnisch loves blowing raspberry's, taking baths and pulling big sisters hair" and a little ad-lib "I'm sure big sister does not enjoy that as much as you do".

Happy 7-month Birthday sweet angel 'o' mine :-)

And, in an effort to being fair...let's give WOWT Channel 6 some props too. Watch tonight's 6pm Newscast to see our good friend Brooklyn Tonjes receive a check from from Gregg Young Chevrolet as part of WOWT's "Go the Extra Mile" segment. The check is a donation to ODSPN's Buddy Walk. Very cool, way to go Brooklynn!!! We'll be watching. :-)

See, there is actually some good local news to report every now & again...a good change from the usual, shootings, burglaries, politics, etc.

Jul 28, 2010

Grandpa Nanny School: LESSON 2

Grandpa Nanny School: Lesson 2
(written by Grandpa Lee)

As if you haven't noticed yet
I have Down Syndrome
Or just D.S. for short
So read my lips, repeat after Me
Say it Down Syndrome

But mostly I am D.S.
with these initials
Standing for
All these things in this poem

Beaming big and bright
Who is my guiding light

Every day is Valentines Day
I am my Mommy's DAILY SHOW-N-TELL
Pictures and words that excel

My smarty pants raspberry blow
My bottle is 98.6 or no go

Looking good in my ribbons and pearls
With my horizontal twirls and whirls

An unexpected Red Rose
To delight your nose

Sweet Fairy Tale stuff
Til my family has had enough

A morning delight
Down peacefully at night

My guard dog Toby
My sister and I agree

Undisturbed by strife
I Love my Life

Leading the way
In many forms every day

And Grandpa I'll be a DOCILE SOUL
Except when my bottle is cold
I'll put you on E-bay and you've been sold

Soaking up the view
Peek a Boo I see you

In my face I'll pull your hair
Mess with me you better beware

I hope to grow up to be
Just like my Mommy and Daddy
And my big sister McKenzie


And now after 12 weeks of a Very Special Education from Macy
There are so many things I am beginning to know
So many things I am beginning to understand
I am beginning to know what to write.

Thank You Macy,

I Love you

A letter from Grandpa Lee (LESSON 1)

It was soo hot yesterday, that we thought it was a perfect day to check in and check out some books at the Good Old Waterloo library.  
Here is a pic from a couple visits ago of Grandpa Lee reading "The Giving Tree" to Macy.
"iPhone pic"

Since we were in the neighborhood why not pay dear old Grandpa Lee a little visit.  Just as we were getting ready to go home, Dad handed me this letter, accompanied by a couple stories...or "lessons" if you will.  It was so beautiful and sweet, I thought I'd share :-)  I got a little teary eyed retyping it.


Hey Sherri and Joe

First of all
For letting me hang out with Macy!!!
She teaches me
I'm learning so much

I wanted to capture some of my Macy Encounters on paper for a long time.
But a thousand not right words were scratched out
A hundred sheets of paper squished and balled up.
There are so many things I don't know
So many things I'll never understand
I didn't know what to write.

Until Macy told me what was the right write.

Grandpa Nanny School:  Lesson 1

Sit down beside me Grandpa
Don't cry.
Don't even try
To figure out why

You ain't no Einstein
I'll keep it simple
Here's what you need to know
We'll start with my Dimple

I am a little Girl
As I smile and frown
And roll around
I am a little Girl
as I laugh and coo
Scold and chew out you

I am a little Girl
My baby shampoo
My poop like buttered popcorn       (haha - this is an inside joke  :-)

I am a little Girl
My cheeks between your hands
Your kiss on my forehead

I am a little Girl
well maybe not
Only Toby dog does that.

Great Grandpa & Baby Grant!

Me and the girls were super excited to finally get to go meet my dear friend Lauren's new little man Grant.  He is 2 weeks old!!  He also has big brother (2 yr old) Thomas to keep up with  :-)
Here's a little card I made for him.
Grant, McKenzie & Macy
I think these two are going to be good friends.
Here's to future playdates my friend!   :-)

Since we were already way could we not pay Great Grandpa Salisbury an impromptu visit?
Macy chillin' on Grandpa's tummy...we woke him up from a nap, but he didn't seem to mind the interruption  :-)
blowing raspberries
Mckenzie was being silly and giving Great Grandpa high fives.
but he was being much sillier and telling jokes...Great Grandpa was in great spirits today and was really happy and talkative during our entire visit.  He was, as always sad to see us go...  :-(
okay, this was you know, Great Grandpa served in the Navy and now lives at the Vet's Nursing home.  Naturally they have a few flags on display throughout the building.  McKenzie runs towards these, stands very still and tells me that if she stands high, tall and quietly then she ca be just like the flags,  cool, mommy huh?
After our morning visits, McKenzie still had a little bit of energy to burn, so I encouraged her to run around the front lawn at the nursing home.  She was having a ball.  I was happy, because this meant that she was getting nice and warn out...this may lead to a successful naptime very shortly...  hehe
Catching butterflies and picking wild flowers.
She spotted a loud jet flying overhead.  It's probably landing at Offutt Air Force Base, which is nearby.
fun day  :-)
And oh yeah.  One final note.  We got a text message from Uncle Ja this morning.  Bethany's WATER BROKE around 4:45am.  All is going well and his latest update was that everything was going great and progressing according to plan.  YIPPEE!  I am SOO glad to hear this news.  Please keep Bethany and her precious babies in your thoughts and prayers today.  I pray that all continues to go well and that Bethany and the babies are healthy and strong especially considering they are arriving a little earlier than anticipated.  All-in-all, however, Bethany is a CHAMP for carrying them as long as she has.  Being on bed rest for over a month could NEVER be easy.  But she was amazingly patient & kept herself as calm as possible.  way to go Bethany.  
Sooo...I'm gonna be an auntie again!!  Can't wait to find out of they are boys, girls or a boy/girl combination  :-)  Oh he anticipation!!!

Jul 27, 2010

Toes in the Water...Ass in the Sand

The 2010 Woodcliff theme song (according to Grandpa)   :-)

"I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand
Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand
Life is good today, life is good today"
 It was a gorgeous day for swimming, boating and climbing the sand hill on Saturday  :-)
 Grandpa, Macy and cousin Danielle sunbathin'...looks like Macy's telling quite a story.
Big sister Kenzie jumps in the shot  :-)
Macy and her best friend pondering over life's amazing wonders.

Jul 26, 2010

"Movin' with Macy

Okay blog friends...for those of you who don't already know...
Macy needs YOUR help! 
Please support her on her first ever Buddy Walk!  

This event is the primary fundraiser for the Omaha Down Syndrome Parents Network (ODSPN) and the National Down Syndrome Society.
In celebration of Down Syndrome awareness month this October, our family will, for the first time be cheering on our Little Miss Macy and her team..."Movin' with Macy" for the 2010 9th annual Buddy Walk on Saturday, October 9 at UNO campus.
Please join us by walking or donating to this wonderful, heartwarming event that celebrates the many abilities and accomplishments of individuals with Down Syndrome. 

When?  Saturday, October 9th, 2010  12noon
Where?  UNO (Football Stadium/track - our short walk will also take us over Dodge Street, through Memorial Park and Elmwood Park)
How?  Please donate.  We have a hefty personal goal of $2,000 that, with your help, we hope to achieve.

Why?  All of the money raised goes to Omaha Down Syndrome Parents Network. This organization brings education, programs, activities and awareness to all of us. It helps bring opportunities to Macy and her new friends that otherwise wouldn’t exist. Joe and I have met so many wonderful families who are on this very same journey, for this we are already extremely grateful!  No donation is too small, anything you can contribute to this amazing network would be greatly appreciated.  *Remember, these donations are TAX-DEDUCTIBLE, both business or personal.  Plus, many companies have a donation "match" program...look into that too  :-)*

You can go online to our donation website:     and make a donation using your credit card. 

A special thanks to you all, we appreciate all of your love and support!
The Harnisch Family

6 month IFSP

We met with Macy's "team" on Friday to discuss her IFSP. (Individualized Family Service Plan). Shortly before the morning meeting, my sister Heather magically appeared and swept McKenzie to her house to play. I did not ask her to do this, but it actually worked out quite well that Kenzie was not here. It was not the "fun", "playin' with Macy" type of appointment as usual. This one was more of a "meeting", a very important meeting. boring! :-(
So, thanks Aunt Heather!!! :-) As a result, Joe and I could really think and talk. Anyone who has a three year old, understands how demanding of one's attention they can be!
We reviewed where we were when these gals first met Macy 6 months ago. We had so many questions about Down Syndrome and were so unsure as to what her immediate capabilities were going to be. We evaluated her progress and all the steps we have already taken. It is fascinating to look through their report and make note of all the progress Macy has made in the areas of, Vision, Hearing, Cognitive Thinking Skills, Communication skills, social behavior skills, fine motor skills and gross motor skills, etc... She has achieved all the goals we set for her. We are so proud of you Macy! Certainly something to feel good about and celebrate!

We have learned to continue to LOOK AHEAD. Set goals early, then, work hard on those goals WAY before we actually expect a skill to develop. So now, at this 6 month IFSP, we basically addressed concerns that we currently have regarding Macy's development and made a "wish list" of sorts noting the areas of which we'd like to see her improve. We set some aggressive goals for the next 6 months and with the help of our early intervention team, we are confident she/we will achieve all of these too. I am comfortable with how often our Physical, Occupational and speech therapists, and teacher will be visiting. Aside from the physical goals we had set, we are also beginning to put a little more emphasis on Macy's speech development. The simple fact that Macy is still nursing will pay big dividends in the area of speech, as she works her facial muscles so much more breastfeeding than if she were drinking from a bottle all the time. Makes every feeding so rewarding and that much more fullfilling for me :-)
McKenzie will also be included in all of these sessions, she is an "assistant teacher" of sorts...they will also help me teach her sign language. I have already started encouraging McKenzie to use the basic signs, but, each week, we will also dedicate a few minutes of Macy's Early Intervention time to McKenzie and talk about and learn about sign language. This will be SOOO helpful, not to mention fun for her :-)

I am really looking forward to the months ahead and focusing on these areas. one. step. at. a. time!
Below are some pictures taken when Macy was about 3 months old.
Renee brought this really cool mirror and as you can see, Macy LOVED seeing and talking to herself!
Of couse, Toby, is always near by!
Last week we went over to my friend Kalynn's house...she has a young girl, cutie-pie Janessa, who also has Down Syndrome. Her EI team gave her the idea to hang a mirror close to the ground, on a wall in her family room. She said that Janessa just LOVES this exciting feature. That was apparent by the many finger prints on it...tehe...who needs a big screen HD TV, when all a kiddo needs is her own reflection to be entertained by? I am inspired and may find a location to hang our own mirror entertainment system :-)
Also, my friend Tracy (who has a beautiful 2 year old named Bella who also has DS) attended the National Down Syndrome Conference in Disney World last week. She shared with me a few tips and exercises she had learned while there that applied to babies that are Macy's age. Thanks for sharing some of these new learned tricks Tracy!

Just another reason, I am grateful and so thankful for my amazing support system of "DS Supermom's". Our mom's group is having another "meeting of the minds/playdate" next week at Jamie's house...

Jul 22, 2010

2010 Special Olympics! on volunteering

I am excited to get back down to the USA National games again today...not as a volunteer, but this time as a "Fan in the Stands".  It's going to be a HOT day in Lincoln, but who cares, I can't wait to take in more athletic competition action.
I am going alone.  Dropping the girls off with Grandma.  Joe is volunteering over at aquatics today.  A few friends asked and offered to come down with me.  But to tell you the truth, I really just want to go by myself. I didn't want to go and have conversations with friends I already knew, I wanted to go alone and strike up conversations with strangers and make some new fiends from all over the country.  Does that make sense?  I do not have a specific plan or schedule today...I just want to "be" there and take it all in, get some Olympian autographs and maybe collect a pin or two.  Just wander around and not have to answer to anybody.  Well, until I meet up with Joe later in the day and head over to the Volunteer Appreciation Program.  

I hope to run into a few of the athletes I met the other day.  I would like to cheer them on.   The few that I had the pleasure of getting to know were just sooo excited to be here in Nebraska and were sooo motivated and inspired to bring home the gold.

As a volunteer, I certainly did not play a vital role in the games.  I was just on the "Green Team"...keeping the games "litter-free" and "green".   But, hey, I was honored to do it.  I loved being there on Sunday as the flag football teams were scrimmaging.  I loved wearing my yellow volunteer shirt, which sort of enabled me the opportunity to simply wander around each playing field, through bleacher areas, in and out of the athlete and family lounges, without looking odd.  I was doin' my job.  :-)  I REALLY loved meeting and talking with the athletes, coaches and families.  The families were very gracious and appreciative of all the volunteer support.  Several of them gave me a pat on my back and simply said "thanks for doing all of this".  That meant a lot!

Early in the morning, as I was standing at the volunteer check-in table, I made eye contact with an athlete who was checking his team in about 50 feet away.  He waved at me enthusiastically, so of course I waved back and gave him a smile and a thumbs up.  About 30 minutes later, I was standing in a group with a few volunteers over in the volunteer lounge area, when this tall man in a green shirt walked over to me.  "Hi, My name is Mike, I see that you know my friend Robbie, so I thought I'd come over and introduce myself as well."  He was the nicest person - can't we all be this "approachable".  He took off his hat and said "check it out, you're not going to forget me."...he had shaved the letters N & J into the side of his hair (team New Jersey).  "THAT'S AWESOME" I told him!  We were chatting about all sorts of things, when a few other teammates of his came over and joined in the conversation.  They were all so pumped to tell me about their flights in, the cool dorms they are staying in right here on campus.  They were proud to tell me all about the other sports they play back home.  They said they want to win big at these games to hopefully qualify for the World Games next year, taking place in Greece.  They were all soo smart and were explaining to me various rules of the games, how certain states played differently, and how teams qualify to be here, how they qualify to move on to Worlds, etc...I was FASCINATED!
I kept running into them throughout the course of the morning.  I loved cheering them on when they took to the field  :-)

One girl from Team tennessee was sitting on the field stretching (she was one of only 2 girls participating in Flag Football at these games).  She had about 30 or so pins attached to her lanyard.  So as we were talking, I asked her about them.  She was soo proud to tell me how many people she had been meeting here.  She even had a few funny stories.  She said this is one of the most fun parts for her.  Exchanging pins.  She was looking forward to this evening's Opening ceremonies.  "This", she said "is where I will be getting lots more pins from athletes from other states."  I gave her a high five and wished her the best of luck, she smiled and said "Thanks, we've got a pretty good team".  :-)

Former Husker Football player, Vershan Jackson, was one of the lead volunteers at the flag football venue.  It was so neat watching him interact so comfortably with all the players.  He was extremely sincere and genuinely interested in each and every one of them.  He had a pretty cool, casual camaraderie with each of them.  He joked around with everyone and made them all laugh and feel special.  As I was walking around I would over hear some of the athletes bragging to each other about their encounter with this popular, big-time football player.  Very cool.

It was fun cheering on and etting to know the players and coaches who played for the two Nebraska teams.  Again, they were all excited to tell me about the various sports they played.  Wow they are BUUSY!  I learned one of the coaches for the team with players from Fremont & West Point attended the same college as me and knew my brother-in-law Gordy.  As he put it "they pounded the hardwood together at Midland".  played basketball   :-)
those are just a few memories from the other pictures though.  I was "working".   :-)
That night we attended the Opening Ceremonies celebration.  WOW!  That was awesome.  I am so glad we were able to get a tickets.  It was very moving and emotional.  I was not prepared for that and was not told that I should have brought a box of kleenex with me.
  It was neat reading all of these texted messages prior to that start of the event.
The arena got SUPER loud as team Nebraska was announced.  What a rush those athletes must have felt.  A standing ovation and all!  Definitely something to be proud of!
National Anthem sung by Sandi Patti.  Very moving.
ha - had to get at least one shot of Joe  :-)

Jul 21, 2010

Future Firefighter's of America!

Yesterday we, along with some neighborhood friends, went out to Waterloo to play at Grandpa's fire station for a bit...Macy has NEVER seen a fire truck!  Crazy to think that with all the firefighter blood pouring through the veins of her mommy's family that it has taken this long.  My Dad's a firefighter, my sister's a professional firefighter/paramedic in Lincoln (woo-hoo Lisa, you ROCK!!).  All three of my sister's are married to firefighters and paramedics.  I am the odd duck out.  I married an accountant.  But I must say he's got the "sexy tractor/farmer" thing that they don't got...hehe  :-)  I still love you Joe!
In any case, the kiddos had a great time...thanks Grandpa Lee for showing us around  :-)  I can not express my gratitude enough towards these firefighters who, day in and day out, put their own lives on hold (and many times at risk) to help save and protect others.  They are America's True American Hero's indeed!
 Macy and her Hero.

Dad explaining to Zach what all these buttons and gauges do.  He was FASCINATED!  
This kid loves firetrucks!
As you can see Dad's having a pretty good time showing the kiddos the inside of an ambulance.  Let's hope they do not need to get back inside one again anytime soon.  no.  seriously!  
Climbin' in the water rescue boat.
Lauren and McKenzie looking around.
Not sure if you can tell here or not...but Macy is sportin' her fancy LIFENET t-shirt.  If you recall, She was transported via the amazing LifeNet team from Lakeside to Children's when she was only 48 hours old.  She's kind of an "alum" I'd guess you'd say.
The big kids climb into the cab of the big truck.
McKenna and Hannah strike a pose.
Tryin' to get a group shot...but Dylan could not take his eyes off of Little Miss Macy.  So sweet!
He really got her laughing  :-)
Here's another good group shot (well minus Dylan) - but I love it!    :-)
The twins checking out the ladders from a distance.
More "Brother & Sister love".  How SWEET IS THIS SHOT!?!?
McKenna is such a caring big sister.  She sure does look out for her baby brother.  This poor little guy has been through SO much this past year.  Way more than any four year should have to go through.  After seeing several specialists and neurologists, it has been determined that Zach has a rare form of epilepsy that has no known cause and is very difficult to control.  Not exactly the kind of news that puts his parents at ease.  But Lynette are Doug are amazing and strong and they do and will continue to do everything they can to see to it that Zach gets the proper care he needs.  We love you Zach and we are all praying for you each and every day!  I am just so glad that our visit to the firehouse was free of complications for this little guy.  He was truly able to enjoy himself!  I am sure his mom was so glad for this  :-)
Lynette giving Zach a boost into the driver's seat.  Dad let all the kids sound the LOUD siren!
oh and I should add...not only were the kids wow'd by the fire stuff, Mike Morton parked his race car out front while he was inside having a meeting.  the kids thought that was pretty cool.  oh and then a train went by.  the U.P. train tracks are right next door.  firetrucks.  trains.  race cars.  What more could a kid ask for.  haha!  Now we just need a John Deere tractor to come driving down the street.
They wanted to climb back into the water rescue boat one last time...I think this was the girls' favorite part.  Probably thinking about all the "ray's" that could be caught on this cozy boat.  Not exactly what this is intended for, but it could be FUN!
I tried to get a nice shot of me and the girls on the back of the fire truck.   hmm.  well, not exactly how I planned it.  But it's as good as it's gonna get.  Plus, it was starting to get SUPER hot!  nice face Kenzie, thanks for playing along  :-(
I have sooo many wonderful memories growing up as a small town volunteer firefighter's daughter.  This Waterloo Fire Department was a major part of much of my childhood.  I always thought it was so cool to hang around at the station with my dad and all the other kids whose parents were on the department.  Fireman's picnics, pancake breakfasts, the men always having to leave neighborhood gatherings at top speed as soon as the town's whistle blew, Dad rarely making it through a dinner without the scanner going off.  I used to LOVE listening to that scanner and hearing about each of the calls as they were happening, whether it was a house fire, a car accident or whatever, we were in the know. oh the DRAMA!  who needed TV right?  Things are quite a bit different these days!  :-( 
Thanks again Grandpa!