The Harnisch Family

The Harnisch Family

Jul 28, 2011

Macy is 19 months old today!!! (18 mo IFSP)

Yay Macy!  Weighing in at almost 19 pounds...You are small but mighty these days and are showing passionate interest in the world around you.  You are one determined kiddo that does not take NO for an answer (which has proved to be a good thing and sometimes a bad thing - you little stinker-but).   :-)  Because of this fierce determination to get to things and figure everything out, your cognitive skills and physical abilities are blowing us all away.  You leave no stone un-turned and no nook & cranny unexplored.  Each and EVERY day you learn something new and quite simply put me to tears with pride.  You sure do love playing with your toys and waste no time emptying out your toybox.  You love to make messes, and unfortunately for me, the kitchen pantry has some kind of magnetic force drawing you to it, causing you to break into cereal boxes and sprinkle cheerios ALL OVER the wood floor.  NICE!  :-(  Lesson learned I guess...I need to put more pressure on your daddy to improve our child-proofing systems.  Our cheap plastic locks are FAILING on us.  uggh.
You are signing like crazy and have an expressive language that compares to no other.  The range of expressions your teeny face has the ability to show is incredible, you have SUCH a unique personality and sense of humor...and definitely get your point across through strong eye-contact, appropriate gestures and persistent babble.
6 months ago we met with your Early Intervention team to establish some goals and specific milestones we wanted you to work toward achieving.  If you were to ask me 19 months ago where I thought we'd be today?  I can only honestly say, "I did not think it would be THIS far"!  Your Down Syndrome Diagnosis came as such a shock and was so foreign to us.  We kept being reminded by professionals to expect delays.  Setback are just a part of the DS package, anticipate it.  We were told (in a positive way) not to be discouraged or disappointed with slow progress.  BUT, luckily for us...You continue to blow the socks off of all your therapists with your rapid progress.  :-)
We reviewed your IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan) and learned that the 18 page document needed some serious updating as you've already conquered roughly 85% of the goals we set for the year (in 6 months time).  I generally do not like to brag...but who am I kidding, it's my blog, I'll BRAG if I want to  :-)
They are all impressed with your development abilities.  As you can imagine, as your mom, this makes me quite pleased!  SO rewarding to hear other people say nice things about you, it just reinforces that we are all on the right path!
We'll continue to set the bar high.  "EXPECT not ACCEPT!"  But most of all, just love you for the sweet peach you are.  Even if we have troubling times on the horizon, you could NEVER disappoint us.  You only have the ability to amaze and inspire!
This is your WONDERFUL E.I. team.  Each of these ladies love you very much and want you to succeed in everything you set out to do. I believe this from the bottom of my heart.  You are one very lucky girl to have such smart and enthusiastic professionals in your corner  :-)
from left to right:  Sharon (Speech Pathologist), Lucy (Occupational Therapist), Penni (Physical Therapist), Ruth (School District representative), Renae (Special Ed Teacher) and Shelli (Services Coordinator).
Lucy and Macy doing some Oral Motor/feeding therapy and sensory stimulation (a few weeks ago)...
 Pay no attention to the toddler in the foreground playing with a whistle.  Lucy gave this "oral motor" toy to her and she was tickled pink for days!  That is until she wore the "whistle" out of it.  :-(
 Macy did not know what to make of this "shaky" purple want me to actually touch that scary thing?!
She eventually warmed up to it, but it took a few days of exposure and exploration before she could hold it without her entire body being clenched out of dreaded anticipation :-)
The other day, I had the opportunity to take some pics (another paying client, woot-woot!  Thanks Dergan family!) of Zach and McKenna.  It was hot, hot HOT!  But we still managed to have a good time.  Their mom only had to bribe sweet Zach with a few things to get us through the "shoot", but hey, WORKS FOR ME  :-)  I see a new electric train in his very near future.  Poor little dude tripped a couple times and scraped up his elbow & knee.  big bummer.  But he was strong and brave and showed his sweet smile regardless.
 McKenna is such a good big sister to her sweet baby brother!  He is LUCKY to have her  :-)
 Zach (4) and McKenna (8) look closely into the lens, they are told that animals like to hide in there, so they need to be very still and look very close  :)
 A sweet bro & sis moment captured!
 Big sis watching over brother from afar.  Sweet Zach is always watched closely and has been through so much this past year and a half (so much more than any child should have to go through).  It just doesn't make sense and certainly does not seem fair.  If you're a praying person, please keep Zach in mind as he fights his battle with epilepsy.
I love this genuine "Little Rascal" like moment right here  :-)
Does McKenna have beautiful eyes or what?  So glad I got to photograph them  :-)
BOTH of them  :-)
 He got a little confused when I asked him to put his hands on his hips.  close.  Too cute!
 waitin' on his sis  :-)
  Love his sweet expression
McKenna reminds me a lot of ME when I was her age.  She's sort of a tom-boy, who's good at sports and prefers a functional pair of tennis shoes over heels.  my kinda girl  :-)  Can't wait to follow and cheer her on at local sporting events in a few years for sure!
 Zach shows me his newly scraped knee.  He was running and fell on the gravel path.  Poor thing!
 This certainly doesn't help generate smiles.
 My friend Lynette and her sweet girl
 Thanks guys for the fun outing the other night...let's do it again soon, but bring your Dad along next time around!   :-)

These were just a few of my favorites, if you'd like to see more, click over to my Facebook album here

Who's next??  Gimme a holler.  btw - I am still working on my "picture taker" site, where I will for future shoots be posting my client pics.

Blood tests, skull x-rays & playdates

At the recommendation of her neurologist and pediatrician, we spent the morning at Children's the other day getting some blood work and having some x-rays taken of Little Miss Macy's skull.  Kenzie was cool with it, as she checked herself into Kids Camp, where she had SOO much fun playing with the doll house the whole time.  Macy, on the other hand, did not have the same luxury experience.  About five minutes being swaddled and restrained on a cold table while her head being (gently) squeezed between (soft) clamps while they took five pictures of her skull was not her idea of a good time, and she let the poor x-ray tech know it!  She also had a few choice words for the sweet gal drawing blood from her finger...enough to fill three viles.  The girl's got some pipes!  All-in-all, however, she handled it like a champ and was rewarded with stickers and jello.  Plus, a random nurse walking past us in the hallway was super sweet and gave her a soft, pink teddy bear.  That made it all worth-while!
So, back to the reason we were there:  Her anterior fontanel (fancy word for soft-spot) on the top of her head is still present and significantly open.  These skull bones generally fuse together and close by 12 months or at least, in most cases, 18 months of age.  We did not have huge reason for concern, but it was still a good idea to get a closer look at her bones and access their condition, make sure there are no abnormalities, diseases, deficiencies, etc... 
Good news to report...the skull films came back showing normal bones.  And the blood tests (Ionized Calcium Phosphates & Alkaline Phosphatase) also showed to be within normal range, albeit on the HIGH end of normal, normal none-the-less.  Or as doc put it "most likely representing a normal variant - whatever that means.  
I think the moral of this story as that, due to her having Down Syndrome, she is more predisposed to having a delayed closure of her fontanel (among other things), and that perhaps we should just get used to the fact that she has a "WIDER RANGE OF NORMAL" than most.  This theory is applied to most conditions.  This is okay, but still worth investigating further at times to ensure she is in optimal health  :-)
We will continue to monitor and measure the closure of her skull bones and are optimistic they will close on their own soon!

As far as the rest of our week, we are just hanging out, trying to stay cool  :-)  We swam in a couple pools, ran through a few sprinklers, visited the library, had a sleepover with cousin Autumn, had a playdate with buddies, spent the day with my little sis Kylie and went to BounceU!
 Autumn can't get any alone time as she tries to play her DS.  Kenzie is very interested!
Macy too, of course!  She has also become quite fond of a few games on my iPhone as well  :-)
McKenzie was invited to sleepover at G&G Harnisch's house last week, just for fun.  Just her and Mason!  Afterall - Grandma & Grandpa's house is a place where cousins go to become friends.
Autumn also came along to our friends house for a playdate  :-) Eatin' some yummy lunch!
 Vollen and Brady being oh so cooperative for my camera  :-)

 Sweet baby Claire, Macy and McKenzie play with some princess toys
Ha!  We got all four of the little ones to look at the camera at once, it IS a miracle  :-)

Later, that same day, we joined up with some neighbors for some fun at BounceU.

 McKenna & Autmn
swing batter batter batter SWING!
 Macy had tons of fun in the bounce houses today!  Here is a picure of here saying to me "come on Mom, what are you waiting for, lift me up and let's go in!"
She's walking!  She took in upwards of 7-10 teeny steps at a time that day.  woo-hoo!  More to come on her walking milestone in a later post (this proud achievement necessitates a post all it's own!)   :-)
 what a silly girl!
 She has an uncanny ability to make some HILARIOUSLY EXPRESSIVE faces.  It is just too funny how her little features transform so quickly & botox here folks!

Jul 26, 2011

Beautiful Blayne (9 Month photos)

When Blayne's mom expressed a slight interest in having her photos taken by me, I did NOT hesitate scheduling our little session.  This girl is just a peach, such perfect little features, gorgeous eyes and the sweetest round face with cheeks that you could just eat up!  I knew had had to have some pics of this baby in my personal collection  :-)
We set out bright and early Saturday an effort to catch the tail end of the sunrise and to hopefully get ahead of the crazy heat (100 degree temps were once again in the forecast that day - when is this sweltering heat going to END already!).
 When I showed up she was giggly and READY to go!!

Do you like my new green chair?  :)  I found it at the "Whistle Stop" the other day!

 I love this shot..such a happy girl!

 It wasn't all fun and games...check out that TEAR  :-(  poor dear, the sun was starting to bright.
But a little love from momma makes everything better!

 How big is Blayne??
 I found the two above elements (small knitted blanky and white vintage umbrella) at a local thrift shop.  SCORE!
She HAD to play with her momma's keys.  Would NOT give them back for it looks like they are our newest prop.  Hey, whatever keeps a kid happy right!?  :-)
 I like how the run-ray is peeking through on this shot.
And she tells us "We're DONE!"
I had so much playing with my new friend Blayne...and was sad when our session was over, I could have taken pictures of this photogenic peanut ALL day! (just one more, just 4 more, just 9 more - hehe) I know her parents do  :-)

I am really enjoying this new little side gig of taking pics of families and other people's kiddos...and am getting to know my camera a lot better.  I may not have the biggest, best or newest camera, but it does the trick!  I have a few more family sessions on the horizon of which I am excited about...I am pretty sure I am going to start up a separate "Sherri Harnisch Picture Taker" blog or website so that these "other family pics" do not overtake my little Harnisch family blog  :-)  It's just time!  But I will continue to post some of my faves on here from time to time though  :-)

Give me a holler if you'd like your families or little one's pics taken, I sure LOVE to do it!