Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How things are going....

Hannah and Koolio chillin' in her their bed
Man, will she ever stop posing like this! Hannah and Koolio

Another Hannah and Koolio

Hannah enjoying Koolio's "place", and he's enjoying her enjoying it. LOL!

Hannah likes Koolio's "place".

It's 2 am and I'm up which has been par for the course since Saturday night. On Saturday night Hannah slept in her bed in her room and that is where she has been everynight since. She is doing great. Mom, not so much. I've had her right next to me or well guarded by nanna for the few months she did sleep away from me since she was 7 mths old. I'm up checking on her and Koolio every 15 to 30 minutes. I just don't want her to need me and I not be there. SIGH! I've got to get over this though. She is loving having her own room with her own bed. So, if you think about it, pray for me. I need some sleep and I need to get over this fear.

Koolio started school last week. We did half days three days last week. Yesterday was our first all day and he did great. He had a rough morning in that he just didn't want to follow commands but he got it together and had a great finish. Hannah's teachers are doing wonderful with him so I will not be surprised if I do not drop the Kool man off at school on Monday and leave him in their capable hands.

On Saturday Koolio played outside that morning. After playing outside for a while we made a trip to Wal-mart and he and Hannah did awesome with tethering. We walked down one ailse and this man was terrifed of the dog and Koolio just walked past him totally not paying any attention to the man. The man was quite impressed with the Kool man and I think warmed up to "service dogs". LOL! After Walmart we did a practice track. I took Hannah across the field and hid in some trees. Koolio found us straight away and in a matter of minutes. It was awesome to see him do it in an unfamiliar environment and away from training.
On Sunday David and I gave Koolio a bath. It was CRAZY! Our cat got so mad at Koolio.(which has started warming up to him somewhat) I had dried him off the best I could and was getting the dryer ready when he went into our hallway and did the "shake". He slung water all over our cat! Did you ever see Bethoven the movie about a dog? The shake that dog did was about what we experienced. We were wore smack out by the time we finished drying Koolio. We're thinking it might be a good idea to budget in the groomer! LOL!

Tonight we played the seizure game and I changed up the seizure shirts and Koolio did wonderfully. He alerted to the seizure box everytime. I've got to remember to pack up the shirts so I can take them to play the game with Hannah's teachers so he'll know to alert them. I do think we are going to train him to bark in addition to pawing though. I think it will just give me some added peace of mind and Jeremy said we could do that.
I apologize for not updating y'all more. Things are just really busy. I have so much to do still and run out of time to do them very quickly. Hannah goes to the zoo with her regular ed class on Wednesday. We are going to take Koolio. I can't wait to see how she does and how he does. Lots of exciting days ahead of me! Talk to you all soon!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Whew! I promised, so here it is....We LOVE Koolio. He's really an amazing animal and has quickly fit into our family in a way that we'd never have imagined. Our lives are definately changed! Hannah has warmed up to him nicely and thoroughly enjoys bossing him around. It's not unusual for us to hear her saying, "Koo Yoo, NO! Koo Yoo Down! Koo Yoo, Sit!" LOL! He's always got his ear and eyes tuned her way no matter what he's doing. It's pretty awesome!

We had a great trip home and are slowly getting settled in at home. We hit the floor running and have been terribly busy since returning home, but hopefully this weekend we can get caught up on some things. That would be a great feeling.

On Monday Koolio took Hannah to school and met her teachers and classmates. He spent the rest of the day home with me and was constantly looking for his girl. He was rather mopey even. He was very happy when it was time to go get her and so was I! He's much like having a toddler and he gets bored occassionally.

Tuesday we decided to do a half day stint at school. It started out a little rough in that a couple of the boys in Hannah's class really wanted to be able to play with the dog and the teacher was trying to establish the rules with them, and well, new rules require new "fights". LOL! I felt so bad because I wanted them to be able to play with Koolio but also knew that for him to do his job effectively the rules had to be established first. I really think it went well and had expected the adjustment to be much worse than it was. First I took Koolio to Mrs. Skelton's class so they could meet him. That is the regular ed class Hananh does her inclusion in and I couldn't believe how well the kids behaved. They were incredible and so informed and willing to do whatever they needed to so the dog could do his job! They wrote a social story about the dog working and not petting him and being able to pet him later when he wasn't working. It is great! They also have signs to put in his pouch so the kids can visually see that Koolio is working and then when they can pet him and play with him they put a sign in saying they can play with him. Oh, and when the kids did get a chance to pet the dog they all sat around him and it was exciting to watch Koolio lean towards Hannah for lovin'! We left before lunch and went home. Again Koolio moped some but he slept alot. He was tired. LOL!

Wednesday I had an appointment in Arlington so Koolio went with me. He took Hannah to school but then went on to my appointment with me and then went with me to pick Hannah up. He was pretty mopey and looking for her alot.

Today we took him again for half a day and I could not believe how great the morning went. Mrs. Mobley handled Koolio for the most part. She did great. Koolio didn't heel with her as well as I'd like him to but I think a little practice and he'll do fine. He did sit and down for her quite well. He tried her a few times by getting up or doing his belly crawl, but she was able to put him back in his down and it worked great! We left around noon and he spent the afternoon being bad (chewing toys), and moping for his girl until it was time to pick her up. We'll probably do a repeat of this tomorrow.

Next week we go to the zoo one day so that should be interesting. I'll be sure to post about that!

It's time to go get Kyle from work so I'll have to pick up on this post later! Thanks for everything!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Some photos on from on the way home...

Koolio in an under while we ate at Dairy Queen

Koolio and his girl! Hannah is going through this strange strike a pose phase.

The Kool Man and his Kool Girl!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

We're home...

We're home. Got here late last night. I've been so busy getting everything done and ready for us to get back to life in the morning. Don't have any time to post but will do soon! I promise.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Last training Day....

Today was our last day of training. We met at the AIA center and did two tracks. Actually we did two indoor tracks and one field track. I handled the dorm track and Koolio did awesome both times. I tend to want to lead instead of allowing him to lead me, but with time I think we'll work it out. David did the field track and Hannah and I hid back in a wood pile. Koolio is spot on. He's a fabulous tracker. We then broke for lunch and met back at 4paws for a final question and answer session. Jeremy went over just about everything we could possibly need to know. I feel confident that we have been taught as much about handling Koolio that was possible int he 10 days we've been here.

Tomorrow we will meet at the mall and take our access test and then go to 4paws to sign paperwork and graduate. I cannot say enough about 4paws. The staff is incredible. EVERY ONE of them made the experience pleasant and as perfect as possible. I did not meet a single person that didn't go out of their way to help in any way they could. Oh, and they "get" our kids! Awesome! It really is an amazing experience. The training is alot of fun. Not a single boring moment. It is actually quite a hoot at times. LOL! Anyway, if you're thinking about getting a dog from 4paws for your child I would 100% say that it is worth every moment of time, energy, and money!

I get so emotional when I think about the past 8 months of our lives and all that has happened with Hannah and then Billie. I know that God's timing is perfect. I KNOW it. We're experiencing that perfection. Billie passed away less than two weeks before we left to come to training. Wow! I just realized it was a month ago today! Getting Koolio has been a welcome distraction. He certainly doesn't replace Billie in any way, but he sure is aiding in the healing from the loss. Losing Billie was a HUGE loss and always will be. I still can't imagine life without her. Anyway, I don't want this to be a mourning post. I just wanted to acknowlege that God has perfect timing!

So many people had a part in this that it keeps us in awe. We didn't get here without all of you and your support and contributions! Thank y'all so much! Truly, this has been lifechanging for us. We LOVE this dog! This dog adds a level of independence to Hannah's life that would not be possible any other way! She loves her Koolio! I will try to put into words all the things this dog does for us as soon as I can get some time. We will be hitting the road running when we return to Texas. It's back to school on Monday. Doctor's appointments right around the corner too. Life never stops!

We're ready to be home again. We'll miss all these fabulous family's we've gotten to know. As I've said before the most amazing thing in all of this to me was being among people who "get it"! Hannah's acted out in ways she's never done before and there has not been a single strange look or shaking head. I can't tell you how liberating it is to be among these people for 10 days. For a few days all the behaviors were the norm. I've sighed a huge relief more than once! LOL!

I apologize because I feel like I have not articulated this experience to the best of my abilities. Even though it's been amazing and exciting, it is incredibly tiring. I know I have not done it justice. Just please know that we are VERY thankful we got this opportunity and are VERY aware that we wouldn't have had it if others hadn't cared! Thanks!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A BAD sprain....

Kyle has a bad sprain. They put him in an air cast and on crutches. He has a prescription for vicodin. Thank God, it's not broken!

Ankle Injury

David is at the ER with Kyle. At our 4paws St Patty's party last night he injured it playing basketball. We thought it was just sprained but it's really hurting bad and looks awful. Keep your fingers crossed it's nothing too major! I know.....if it's going to happen, it will happen to us!!!!!! I'm just refusing to get down! So far, it's working.....

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An emotional moment and today's training....

On the way to training this morning David and I both had an emotional moment as we glanced back and saw Koolio sitting closely by Hannah and her grinning from ear to ear.

This picture is the one that made us the most emotional. Koolio laid his head on Hannah's arm and she tolerated it. She even enjoyed it!!!!!
I have talked alot about tracking but thought I'd show a little about what I've been talking about. We go to a local park that most of the time has wooded areas. Today Hannah and I walked around these wooded areas and found a place to hide. Here are a few pictures of those woods.
After Hannah and I have had enough time to hide David tells Koolio to track his girl and he heads off. Today we hid beside some woods and he actually tried to go through the woods to find us because he got our scent from where we were hid. He was full of burs and had to have a hair cut to remove them all. He did go around because he couldn't get through and the next picture shows him coming lickety split when he found us! I do not have editing software on David's laptop so it's not the best picture but it still shows what he did. He is THRILLED when he finds us!
The whole process is rather incredible. Jeremy explains how we shed human skin cells and how the dogs can track them. Seriously, it's unbelievable what these wonderful creations can do.
This afternoon we met back at 4paws and went over more tracking notes and grooming. I asked several questions about school and think I got some great feedback on it all. I can't wait to get home and continue in this experience. I know that I'll miss the trainers and 4paws staff and wish I'd have brought at least one of them back to Texas with us. LOL! Really, this experience has been worth EVERY minute of time and energy it took to get here.
This evening we all got together for a 4paws ST Patty's party and had a great time. We thought for a moment we were going to be doing a "live" track as Hannah took off after one of the other 4paws parents and we didn't see her go with her. Talk about a moment of panic. LOL! Luckily she was with another parent safe and sound.
Kyle may have sprained his ankle playing basketball tonight. It's pretty sore and swollen but he is able to walk on it. I've got him sitting with it propped up and ice on it. Please pray it's nothing serious. We've already made one trip to urgent care. Uggggh!
Only 2 more days and then our access test and graduation on Friday. Time has flown by! I'm definately ready to go home though.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Priceless....And our Koolio

Another Incredible day....

This morning we did tracking again. We split into two groups and our group first met at 4paws and learned behavior diruption. I so wish I had brought my camera with me this morning. It's so hard to remember everything when we're trying to get out the door to training. To teach the dog kisses you put peanut butter on your hand or face and tell the dog kisses. When he licks all the peanut butter off you give him a treat. David thought that since hannah will only let us kiss her on the forehead that he'd teach Koolio to give kisses there. He put peanut butter on his forehead and let him lick it off. It was HILARIOUS! Besides kisses we learned the lap, over, nuzzle and touch commands. Koolio does alot of it unsolicited when Hannah starts melting down but it was really good to learn the commands in case I need him to and he doesn't.

We were the third one in our group to track. We went to another park and Hannah and I took a path Jeremy gave us. Once we were well in the place he told us to stop we dunked behind a building. I peeked around so I could watch. We were mostly open terrain this time so I was able to see Koolio work. He did an awesome job. Hannah stepped out from the building when Koolio was about half a block away. He saw her and went off full speed with David running behind him. I thought David was going to pass out once he got to us. LOL!

This afternoon we met at the mall to learn to track there. We also practiced tethering with Hannah. She wouldn't hold on to her own leash but she did enjoy walking behind the dog and being attached. Koolio heeled perfectly and we did two tracks in Sears where he did an awesome job. We then decided to try our hand at heeling with a shopping cart while we were in Sears and he did awesome. We had one tumble when Hannah went for the shopping cart after I had put it up instead of walking behind Koolio and myself. She recovered quickly though and everything went o.k. from there.

Tonight we took Koolio to the hotel lobby for dinner and he did great. I did have to give the command twice but still that was good I thought. We then took him outside and practiced commands with him.

I'm going to post some photos in a bit. We're all tired and so ready to be home. We'll miss 4paws and the trainers but it will be so nice to be in our own home and in our own beds. Hannah has about had all she can take of being out of her element. LOL!

For a really awesome blog posting of this whole experience please check out www.4paws4dylan.blogspot.com

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Yesterday and Today....

I didn't update yesterday because it was a WILD one. Hannah woke us up at 1:30 a.m. running a VERY high fever. It didn't come down until nearly 5 a.m. so we missed tracking yesterday morning and took her to a local urgent care center. She has a ear infection and a URI. She's doing some better today. We were able to go to all the training today with her.

Something exciting happened. The seizure dogs will do an intense sniffing when they smell a seizure. Hannah had a complex partial in the night but Koolio wasn't in the room. Later, I witnessed the intense sniffing that Jeremy described to us and he pawed the bed. I haven't played the seizure game with him yet so he's not aware that I'm the one to paw should he sense a seizure. Well, I have but just once. Later she had several absense seizures, so he did alert! I was in such shock that I didn't know how to respond.

Like I said we missed tracking yesterday morning but was able to leave Hannah with the boys and go to the mall training. The mall is less than 5 minutes from our hotel. Koolio is a very friendly dog and he was so excited about going to the mall. We met at the food court and he walked right by all the food and people without batting an eye. Once he saw all the other dogs he got really excited and had to be corrected but he was SO good. We practiced heeling and he did good. He was a little distracted at first but he soon got on his best service dog behavior. LOL! David became a walking 4paws commercial as everyone wanted to know about the dogs in the mall! It really was cool! If these dogs can handle the mall on Saturday they can handle ANYTHING! LOL!

Last night most of the families met at 4paws for a little get together. Unfortunately we didnt' get to stay long because Hannah just wasn't feeling well. Hannah and I crashed when we got home and my wonderful husband did our laundry. I did it on Wednesday but we were already needing it done again. He's such a great guy!

This morning we met at 4paws and practiced heeling with a shopping cart. It went good. We also practiced some more of the under and place command. Then we met Jeremy at a park for a tracking where David held the tracking leash. Hannah and I walked way back in the woods and she didn't want to stop walking. LOL! Finally she got mad at me and threw herself on the ground. Koolio found us perfectly. He's such a good boy!

At lunch David and I decided to try eating out with Koolio. Koolio was a little hesitant on the under but did it perfect the second time and he lay under the table the entire time. Actually I think he slept most of the time. He heeled perfectly through the restaurant on the way in and to our table and on our way out. I was really proud!

This afternoon we went over tracking and then learned about grooming. We dismissed and Hannah and I came home and let David take the boys out for an evening. I know that the guys have learned so much. If I need them to do a track they can. They have learned the commands and are helping us in getting Hannah and Koolio bonded. It's all so exciting.

I'm really tired but it's a good tired. I am so thrilled with the addition of care for Hannah that Koolio brings. She's slow to warm up to new things and we've watched as each day she gets more and more comfortable and in love with him. She sat in the back seat today and said, "I love Koo Yoo". Of course she LOVES to boss him but she LOVES to boss everyone and everything. LOL! We've really got a kick out of her giving Koo Yoo commands. At any rate, we cannot be happier with our new family member. He is a perfect match for our family. Perfect. It brings tears to my eyes.

Please keep Hannah in your prayers. She just really isn't feeling 100%. Thanks for all the support! It is appreciated. I'm about to post some pictures.

Friday, March 13, 2009


This morning I nearly froze my Texas behind off! We met at 4paws at 9:30 a.m. and went to track at the park. We were the third track....Thank the Lord! Hannah didn't want to hide. We hid near a ditch in some brush and she hollored the whole time...."No....daddy!....No....daddy!" Koolio did excellent. He found us and went all through the brush to get to us. He's an awesome tracker.

This afternoon we learned the place and under commands. We got mutt mats for our dogs and learned how to use them. We also learned how to put our dogs in an under when we go out to eat somewhere, etc. Koolio did the under command but it wasn't his best. LOL! We'll have to work on that one for sure.

After learning the place and under commands we did some seizure work and Koolio did awesome! We brought some boxes home to practice tonight.

We met the Kilpatrick's for dinner tonight. Kira and Hannah have so much in common and seem to enjoy each other. We had a great time spending time with them. It's so nice to be around other family's like ours.

Pray for one of our family's; the Wooley's. The dog they were supposed to get got sick and wasn't going to get better so they had to get a replacement dog. They are handling it alright but have to be sad. Dora was a beautiful dog. I'm sure the new dog will be great but 4 days is enough time to get attached to a dog and they'll be sad, I'm sure.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Really Tired...

Tonight I'm really tired. I have not slept well in quite some time and it has taken it's toll. David said he'd take care of Koolio the rest of the evening and I'm going to take Hannah and try to crash. Hannah is still coughing pretty bad and struggling respiratory wise but no fever so far so hopefully it won't get worse. It's cold here. I think the high today was 42. Could be worse, I know, but still it's cold for these Texas bones.

This morning we did tracking with the dogs. It was incredible. Koolio went first and Hannah and I hid in some trees. He did well and found us. I got to watch a couple of other tracks and it's really quite fascinating. We did learn today that it's harder for the dogs to track in the dryer, hotter climates. Hopefully we'll never need a track but if we do, we'll have a dog that can do it. It'll be fun to practice. I have a feeling we'll all be in much better shape with this dog in our home. Don't laugh! I know, we ALL could use some getting in shape! LOL!

We got our tethering straps this afternoon and learned how to use them. It's all such an amazing process. The entire training keeps us in awe. The trainers and the staff at 4paws are wonderful! We got to see the pinkettes the first day and they are the cutest little things. I want one! LOL! Anyway, I can't say enough about all the 4paws personel. Wow!(I've said that alot, huh?)

I got some brochures from Karen Mull today about DRAVET and we're hoping to find some time to just sit and talk. I have alot of questions and she's so willing to answer them. Hopefully we'll get to find some time to chat.

The most amazing thing of all I think is the parents and families of all these special kids. It is tremendously relieving to be in a place, among people that "get it". One of our kids is melting down and it's like no one bats an eye. No strange looks or worries. Our kids are free to wander in an area that is set up especially for them. Jeremy and the other trainers are capable of teaching us how to handle these dogs in the midst of it all! That is a feat!

Hannah has been alot more playful with Koolio this evening. It's day three and I've seen her grow more and more comfortable with him. We let her just rain treats when she feels like it. Tonight she actually hugged him twice. It brought tears to my eyes.

We meet to track again tomorrow. Can't wait!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

So, I thought yesterday was WOW, but TODAY....WOW!

Today has been a TRIP! All you 80's people know what that means! The morning went well. Hannah got up and wanted to go to Koolio school so we loaded us all up and went even though she wasn't needed for training this morning. Jeremy went around the room letting us take turns telling about our first night and any problems we encountered. We worked on sit and then learned the down comand. Hannah started having a meltdown in the middle of the training floor and Koolio jumped and went to her immediately. It caught me offguard and I went to pull him back before I realized, "uh, he's supposed to go to her". When she is around he watches her and is quite aware she's there. It's quite amazing.

So, we decide to take the dogs out to the bathroom and well, Koolio pooed(he poos BIG) and David was trying to get the shovel to scoop it up when one of the other dogs got loose from their handler and another started chasing her and Koolio got away from me and started chasing that dog. Here were these three dogs running lickety split around the yard. The funniest part however is that I had bought one of those fancy poo bag holders that clips on the leash and as Koolio was running the bags started unraveling and not only did we have three dogs running but the third one looked like he had a scarf flying behind him. It was quite comical although a little unnerving. About the time I got ahold of Koolio with the help of other parents Hannah was trying to come down a laddar on the playground and missed the last step and fell backwards hitting the back of her head on the slide. Koolio ran immediately to her. I was very impressed that he had just been running wild but when she was in distress he was there. Cool!

We get back in and practice heeling which Koolio is awesome at. He had no problem with it whatsoever. We then broke for lunch and came back to work on tricks. Shake, Five, and High Five.

There are three seizure dogs in this class and today we were introduced to that part of training. Koolio was first. He played the seizure game and everytime he came across Hannah's seizure scent he pawed the trainer. So, he is trained to come paw me if he senses Hannah is going to have a seizure. I thought David and I both were going to cry when he did it the first time. We were so amazed. I still have tons of questions. Like why the other dogs bark and Koolio paws. Not that it matters but I know someone is going to ask me and I want to have answers. Also, how to train the school staff. Still, it was the most amazing and incredible thing to watch!

Hannah has warmed up to Koolio much more today than she was yesterday. She says his name and tries to boss him around already. The cutest thing is her telling him, "Koo Yoo, good boy" or "Koo Yoo, go potty!" We have not allowed ourselves to play ball with him today. She is the only one that gets to play ball with him and I have taken tons of treats and put them in her lap while she throws them and he gets them. She loves to throw and he loves to retrieve.

Tomorrow we start tracking. That should be fun. It is COLD here. Yesterday it was in the 70's and today the high was 42. We're exhausted and our brains are already on overload but it's still a really good feeling to finally be here and to finally have him. He's beautiful and fitting perfectly in our family. Until tomorrow....

I know you love pictures...

I forgot my camera so there are no pictures of training today but I do have some from this evening. I'm going to give Hannah's meds and be back to post about the day. We got to see the seizure alerting today and it was AWESOME! Koolio did great!

The King and His prince hanging out!

Hannah hanging with Koolio!

Hannah and Koolio hanging out! He loves to play ball with her.

Koolio. Isn't he gorgeous! Ooops! I mean handsome! LOL!

Koolio. Man, he's just so CUTE!

I think this down is hilarious! He's really chilling in this picture.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Worth the Wait!

Koolio waiting patiently to meet his family

O.K. Would you let me go to them already????

Meeting Koolio!

This is my "Koo Yoo"!!!!

They brought me a squeaky ball!

Wow! Wow! Wow!

All I can say is WOW! Can you tell? I am in love with this dog! He is playful but obedient. We just came in from outside where I was showing David what the trainer taught us today and Koolio did great! I was really nervous about having a dog. I still am apprehensive but I think we'll be o.k. and I'll do fine.

Hannah was very overwhelmed when we walked in 4paws. The place smells like dogs! Imagine that. LOL! Koolio was politely sitting in his kennel. David and the boys commented on how he looked beat down, but when they brought him out to us, he was great. Hannah was really happy. That was until he took a treat from her hand and slobbered all over her! It was a little more than her sensory system could handle. LOL! David took her back to the hotel because they didn't need both parents and the kid this afternoon. We've been back at the hotel a couple of hours and we've caught her touching him and playing with his tail, etc. Koolio loves Kyle and Zachary and they seem to really be enjoying him. I think he'll fit into our family quite well.

Jeremy said we'd do some seizure work tomorrow. There are only 3 seizure dogs in this class. He mentioned that the other two dogs barked and that Koolio pawed. That made me a little nervous but I'll find more about it tomorrow surely.

We're happy, exhausted, and ready to settle down for the night. I'll post some pictures. Thank you to everyone that has had a part in this happening for us. I think I was the only one in tears when Koolio came to us. I couldn't help but think about the past 8 months and all we've been through. This is not one of those BAD things. This is an GOOD thing and we sure needed it! Thank you!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Met some of the other 4paws families

Tonight 4 of the families that are staying at Homewood met up in the dining area of the hotel and had dinner and just sat around and talked. Hannah did prettty good. It took her a few minutes but she warmed up to the other kids and was crying when we went back to the room. She wasn't through playing. David and I took her to Wal-mart to buy some juice and that made her happy. It was alot of fun meeting the other parents and their kids. Dale is so polite and Kira and aley were sweethearts. I didn't get to spend much time with Aley but Kira played with Hannah quite a bit with Dale. I'm sure they'll all have so much fun together tomorrow. I am excited about all that I'm bound to learn this week from the others. All of us have kids with special needs of some kind and it was rather relaxing to just be around people that "got it". Can't wait to meet the other seven families in the morning.

Hannah is still coughing something awful. She hasn't run any fever and isn't completely cranky but she isn't 100% which has me bummed. Don't get me wrong. I'm thankful things aren't worse than they are but I'd rather her feel good and not be feeling yucky. :<(

Tomorrow around 10 we'll all be sitting awaiting the introduction to our dogs. I can't wait to see all the kids faces and I am really anticipating Hannah's reaction. I don't think she's fully grasped the idea that this doggie will be hers and it will be with her all the time.

I'll post tomorrow evening before we go to bed.

Some photos.

Here are a few photos of the kiddos on the way up...

This is Zach. Neither of the guys were very cooperative. LOL! Zach never takes a "serious" picture though.
This is Kyle. He covered his head up when I was trying to take a shot so I told him I was posting any photo I got of him on Hannah's blog. He already hates me so I have nothing to lose! :<)

Hannah enjoyed having a dvd player on the back of the seat in front of her. We even got her to wear the headphones so she could hear what she was watching. What you don't see besides the play keys in her mouth are two bracelets, a teething ring in each hand, and her baby doll in her lap.

Hannh's sick

Hannah kept us up until nearly 3 a.m. coughing and throwing up. Please pray it's just something that she'll get over quickly. She gets Koolio tomorrow.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

We made it...

We're at our hotel in Fairborn. Drive was uneventful until we got to Cincinati where we hit a down pour and it lasted the whole way to Fairborn. We made it though and everyone is sitting around chilling.

I actually got a call from Connie this morning and they did make it to Brownsville last night so we went by their hotel and met them. Dale is such a cutie and so polite. They beat us to Homewood. I just talked to Connie and they are enjoying a gorgeous rainbow and eating TGIF's! I haven't heard anymore from Paige so I'm not sure how their trip went. The last time I talked to her they were a couple hours ahead of us.

The hotel is VERY nice. It will work out great because it has everything we could possibly need and we can even cook if we need to.

I had a emotional moment a couple of times. Once yesterday when we passed over the Mississippi because Billie would always cry when we went over it. She was so patriotic. Then today someone gave us a $50 gas card and the urge to call and tell her where we were and what all had happened was so strong. I really don't know how we'll get through this. We miss her so bad.

Well, I better stop. I'm already tearing up again just typing this! Ugggh!

Brownville TN

We made it to Brownville last night. Stopped around 7 and was all asleep before 10 including the boys. The drive went well yesterday. Hannah had a few moments but we all did. LOL! Anytime you coop up a van full of people with adhd you're bound to have "moments". I talked to Connie Wooley last night and they are a few hours behind us. I had no idea they were coming up the exact way we were or we could have hooked up with them to make the ride as a caravan. We should actually make it to Xenia tonight. That will give us a couple of nights to settle in before getting Koolio on Tuesday.

Everyone is up and getting ready to head out for the day. Thanks for all the prayers and support.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Heading out and Makeover

How do you like the new look? We LOVE it! So classy! Even Mr. everything Hannah related should be pink likes it. Check out butterfly sparks designs for your own blog makeovers. A friend of mine's dil had this really classy looking blog so I checked it out and inquired and waaalaaa, now we got some class! LOL! Vanessa does an awesome job!

We're about to head out to get goign on our trip. Hannah's awake but really whiney and lathargic. I'm so hoping she's just tired and nothing is brewing. Please keep us in your prayers! We will need them. I'll update again asap. I'm so excited! Can you tell? We've waited on this dog longer than we waited on any of our babies! LOL! 11 months! Wow! It's happening.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

van, dog stuff, and only one more day till we leave...

OMG! The van....we picked it up last night and I was not prepared to have something so perfect for us to take to Ohio to get Koolio. It is PERFECT. Has dvd players and wireless headphones, and all kinds of gadgets to make the trip so much more pleasant. A friend is loaning us a portable dvd player to use while at training so Hannah can have her videos. LOL! But in the van...WOW! That's about all there is to say to describe it. We had no idea there was like all kinds of Vandergriff dealships. Vandergriff chevrolet, Vandergriff Hyundai, Vandergriff Honda. Thought we'd never find the right one. LOL! Vandergriff Honda is the one that made this loan to us. Mr. Evans was fabulous and so interested in Hannah and her dog! Definately check them out if you are looking at Hondas. I can't speak for the other branches but that one....WOW!

I finished up dog shopping today. Thanks to everyone that contributed to Koolio and things to take care of him. I bought plenty of treats, toys, dog dishes, potty bags and holder, grooming supplies, and they ordered a giant crate for us that will be waiting on us on our return. I'm sure I forgot something but I still have money to cover anything we'll need that I didn't get. I think he'll be one happy dog too! I hope he likes to share because Hannah likes his toys too. LOL!

I verified hotel reservations today and we've got people to watch the house and our mail while we're away. Finally I am relaxing enough to enjoy things. It's about time, huh? I really look forward to being around the other family's. Not having to worry about someone looking at us strangely when they realize Hannah isn't neurotypical. I hope to learn alot and just share in our experiences. We're all parents, relatives, siblings to "oval" children. Plus there are several DRAVET familie's that will be there and I can't wait to meet up with them and learn what steps we need to take next to get Hannah the care she needs and deserves. Both my boys are going with us. I'm so thankful that they'll get to be there with us. We have not done anything as a family in so long. Hopefully there'll be a little time for some fun either on the way up or on the way back. Plus, they needed to be there to learn how to work with the dog.

Please pray for Hannah and that she'd continue in good health. I took her to the doctor today and she checked out fine. Oh, and pray Ohio has a nice warmer March. LOL! Seriously, I do not look forward to freezing my toosh off!

Thanks everyone for everything. I'll keep this blog updated as often as possible with pictures and the works.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Coming together....

Things are starting to come together. LOL! God's timing is so not my timing! Still it's perfect.

We have a van to take to Ohio. A friend had a friend who managed a dealership and they plead our case and was able to get one for us to use. I cannot tell you what a relief this is! We really appreciate all the help that has been sent our way to help make this a reality. This would not be happening if people didn't care and help. I've met some people through this process that I feel will be lifelong friends. I've watched as people contacted people who contacted people and the right amount of help at the right time came. Thank God for people who care! Thanks to all of you who had a part in making this happen for us!

I will be honest and say that this entire process has been a struggle for me. I've had to reject the idea that people do not care and embrace the idea that people do care and are willing to help. My pride has taken a huge hit(which it needed to take) as I'm a very independent person and this was a very dependent process. It was not going to happen without the help of others. From the beginning of this endeavor I tried to do my part. I tried to MAKE it happen. I'm not kidding when I say that every single thing I attempted to do was a complete flop! I spent alot of time despairing over the fact that OTHERS were doing this for Hannah, and not me. I wanted to provide this help for my daughter who is an amazing fighter and lover of life. I've finally came to the conclusion that this was one endeavor God wanted my paws off of. He was using this to SHOW me something. I've been horribly impatient but I think some of you would have been just as impatient in my shoes. I mean...come on....we get transportation settled THREE days before we're to leave! Talk about stressing! LOL! I've felt completely out of control of our lives since July. It's hard for me to feel like I have no control. And that's even with knowing that I pray every single night that God would order our steps. It's kind of crazy to pray that prayer and expect to still control your life, huh? I'm learning though. It's certainly a process.

In hindsight I can see that God's timing is perfect. Originally I so wanted Hannah to get Koolio in December. What a perfect Christmas gift to get her service dog at Christmas time! I was so disappointed when they put us in the March class but I accepted it. Now, I'm so thankful that we didn't go to Ohio in December! We had our last Christmas with Billie in 2008! We had a very relaxed, laid back and uneventful holiday and we were all together. I was here to order her gifts for everyone and wrap them for her. We were able to enjoy the holiday's! I'll never forget her face when she held up her stocking full of goodies and opened her watch that she had wanted so badly. Another thing I did not understand at the time was that we were supposed to move and it fell through. We had more time because we didn't make that move than we would have had. And finally we go get Koolio a couple weeks after we bury Billie. It's the perfect time for Hannah to get her new companion. It certainly won't take Billie's place but it will bring some comfort to hurting hearts. I only wish she was here to see him because she was so excited about him and amazed at what he could and would do.

I'm rambling again! Sorry! I'm not sure any of this makes any sense but maybe a little of it does. Thank everyone so much and please keep praying for us! We love y'all! Only three more days until we head to get Koolio (Koo Yoo)!!!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sad evening, getting ready, and all that stuff...

Yesterday I ran to Hurst to see Vicki and she gave me a few things we'll need at training. She gave me a treat bag, a tote bag, a mutt mat and some coupons for a free 8x10 at the mall we'll do some of our training at. It made everything seem more real somehow. I can't believe we have to leave here in just 4 days! I'm no where near ready! The house is looking pretty good. We've been cleaning and rearranging.

Yesterday evening was a rough one. David's cousin had taken some pictures of Billie in her casket at the funeral home and Hannah found them. It was the most pitiful sight. She sat in the floor and looked at everyone one of them and said, "awwwwww, nanna sleeping. Time to wake up. kisses!" I tried to explain that nanna was with Jesus and she said, "awwwww. She talk to Jesus! Kisses!" and she placed one of the photos to her forehead. I tried several times to put the photo away and she would come looking for it and beg for it. I lost it when I went to check on Hannah and she had pulled back the covers on her bed and put "nanna" to bed. She laid the picture in the bed and she wanted nanna to have her oxygen. My heart broke for her. I know how bad she is going to miss her nanna and she can't possibly understand. I think we're getting Koolio at the perfect time.

Originally this past weekend would have been when I took Billie to Sissy's and I'd be picking her up the last weekend in March after we brought Koolio home. She was going to stay a month. That was before the whole rehab thing came into the picture. I just so wanted her to get stronger. I keep thinking that maybe we should have just brought her back home, but then I think about her dying here and I just don't think I could have taken it and I know the kids couldn't have. I just wish we had one more day with her.

This stuff is tough. I'm sorry I'm such a downer. This should be one of the happiest and most exciting times and I'm so sad that it's hard to be that way. It almost feels wrong to be any other way.