Thank you both so much for sharing your experiences with your own children. It's so helpful to hear these stories to have a better context.
I've really been doing a lot of reading and researching. I have started reading the book recommended above - 5 Levels of Gifted. Whoa - that has been a real eye opener. I was really shocked (terrified?) to see how much DD is similar (and even exceeds in some areas - like counting and reading) many of the "level 5" gifted kids at her age. I think she isn't as verbal as many of the level 5s, though, so she may or may not belong to this group. But it was still a really big eye opener as to just how gifted and unusual she might be. My DS is also possibly around a 4 - which is really surprising. The book has been very useful to put his development in context and realize that he will likely need specialized education as much as DD.
Our local schools do indeed have a gifted program, although who knows how long they will have funding. One of our local schools may soon be closing due to some forced consolidation the state is possibly going to do. The gifted program doesn't start until 3rd grade. They use cluster classrooms (see? I'm learning new terminology and everything. LOL. Lots of reading, I tell ya.) I am happy that they have some sort of gifted program, but I don't know how to tell if it is really going to be adequate. My gut tells me it may not be enough. Part of the problem is that the class sizes are pretty big - and if this consolidation happens they will only get bigger - and I suspect DS would be better off in a smaller classroom if possible. It's too early to know what sort of classroom would suit DD's personality, but DS would almost definitely do better with a small classroom.
Of course, we don't have to make any decisions right now. My DH and I did decide, however, that if we determine the kids really "need" a full time gifted school that I will make the 50 minute communte to take them there. It's K-8, so I don't know what we'd do when it came time for high school, but we could cross that bridge when we come to it. We also have other options, but if their giftedness is an "issue" that the local schools can't handle that might be our best option. We'll have to go and check out the school in person and maybe talk to other parents, but that is what we are thinking right now.
I haven't heard back from the local psych. I'll let you guys know when and if I do hear from her. I hope she's still in business!
As a sidenote, my husband was changing DD's diaper last night and she just started counting backwards 12 to zero. I don't know why she did this, or what triggered it, but it was just another one of her "surprises". I just can't imagine what she will be like by the time she is 2.... or 1 1/2 for that matter. When she does things like this, I get a real conflicting internal response of "oh how cute" and "holy CRAP wtf did she just say?!? how am I ever going to meet this child's needs?" I imagine many of you here understand that feeling. (This is the type of story I would never tell anyone IRL because they would likely think I was either insane or a liar. It is so great to have this resource of parents that understand!)
Once again, a long and rambling post. Thanks for listening.