Saturday, January 29, 2011

All about a Thursday

So Thursday was an all day sprint from beginning to end. Another Mom recently posted all the details of one day, and I thought about doing that to recap Thursday...but I got tired just thinking about it, so you'll get the cliff notes version instead.

Thursday was Maddie's ortho appointment at Children's. I was pretty nervous and excited because this was the first visit since Maddie started walking. A million thoughts were going through my head the night before.

Would she walk for him? Would I get the straps on right? Would he think they were working? What if he doesn't? What if she is cranky? What if she didn't walk at all?

Yeah, I didn't sleep at all.

So the next morning, we were running late, of course...and it just added to my anxiety. It took about an hour to get there. We had drove separately because I had a parent/teacher conference later that day, and Chris was going to visit his parents. There was only one spot open when we got to the hospital. Chris and the kids ended up parking all the way at the other end, so I ran into the clinic to check us in on time. Chris hauled it clear across the hospital with both kids in tow...only to find out the doc is over an hour behind in his appointments. Awesome.
So the butterflies in my stomach continue, as I try to ration out the sippy cups and goldfish for what was turning into a long visit. Finally we were called back.

It went well...really well. After chatting for a few minutes, Maddie began to get restless in the small room. She kept saying "Walk! Walk!" So her doctor opened the door and let her walk. I don't know if he would ever admit to being surprised at her progress, but by the time we left, a small crowd of docs and nurses had gathered to watch Maddie walking down the hallway waving, and pointing out every Elmo in sight. I think he was surprised.

He was pretty neutral about twister cables vs. derotation straps, but because I wanted to try them out, he was willing to give it a go. Yay! So we have an appt. this week to get her measured for the straps. I am excited and hopeful to see how she does with them.

Since the appointment was so late, all I had time to do was follow Chris to his parents house, say hello, change a diaper, and grab a pack of crackers for the ride back across the lake. I got to Mason's school just in time for the meeting. It was kind of hilarious. I got to see a self portrait he drew of himself, and go over some super funny Q&A worksheets. Enlightening, to say the least. When asked what he wanted to be when he grows up, my child answered, "Mr. Potato Head." I was happy to hear that he gets along well with all of the kids, and seems right on track for his age. He loves going to school, and I love that he's enjoying it. He's an amazing kid, with such a personality, and it was clear that his teachers adore him.

After the meeting, I went home to an empty house. I had a terrible headache, and I was hungry...having only eaten my snack crackers and coffee all day long. But an empty house is a rare food would have to wait. I called Chris to see how much time I had before they got home, and decided I had just enough to mop my floors. I know, crazy...but I've been putting it off since like it had to be done.

Anyways, the weekend is here, and I am finally catching my breath. Enjoying lazy mornings with coffee and muffins, with my aspiring Mr. Potato Head...

and warm afternoons swinging in the park...

Happy Weekend everyone!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Finding Balance

Raising kids, in any capacity, can be tough...but throw some special needs into the mix, and you find yourself in a constant balancing act. That's where I am right now. I'm walking a very fine line between praising the accomplishments of one child, and feeling like I may be neglecting the other.
It's been a pretty exciting couple of weeks. Madison has made unbelievable progress with her walker. I am seriously so proud of this little girl! In just a few short weeks, she has gone from a few wobbly steps in the living room, to trips to the mall, Target, and the grocery. It's difficult to contain my excitement, but I'm trying to. I'm constantly wanting to burst into tears and laughter all at the same time...but I know every reaction I have is being watched, so I'm trying to keep it in check. Mason, while super excited in the first few days, is now over it. I can see the look on his face when strangers in stores start to make over Maddie. I hear it in his voice when he asks me repeatedly to take pictures of him, or make a movie of him for the computer. (He picked this clip out of several to be posted)
My lil' man with his Big Wheel :)

He wants to know that I'm watching him too, and it hurts me to see him trying so hard to get attention...even negative. He's been acting out a bit lately, and I'm wondering if it's because of all the attention his little sis has been getting. It's nearly impossible for people to see this pig-tailed pixie with her tiny walker, and not make over her. Who could blame them?

I took the two of them to the grocery last week. After we'd gotten all our items in the cart, I took Maddie and her walker out, and let Mason push the cart while she walked up and down the aisles. Mason was happy with his job when we first started, but after about 30 minutes of walking, he wasn't into it. Every time someone stopped to talk to Maddie or wave at her, his role felt less important to him. It bummed me out. I let him pick a special snack for his hard work, and made a big deal over how much he had helped me...and he really had! There's no way I could have done groceries, and walk with her, without his help.

So it's become my balancing act...Praise Maddie and encourage her to keep walking, but not too much, so that Mason feels he has to put on a show as well. It's tough. I know he adores her.

This is the two of them in his tent...Check out that hair!

I see the way he is with her when he thinks no one is watching...that's "his Maddie".

They love each other so much.

I only hope and pray that I can do everything to make sure their bond stays strong, and that they always know how much I love them both.


This week is another busy one...ending with Maddie's ortho appointment. He wanted to see her again when she started to take steps, so we could re-evaluate, and discuss twister cables for her inward rotation. I have heard lots of mixed things about the twisters, and I have been hoping to avoid them. I have a new clip of Maddie walking while wearing a derotation strap, and I'm hoping it changes his mind about the twisters.

If you compare this clip to the previously posted video, the difference in her left leg is amazing. It is almost perfectly straight with the straps on it. I don't have anything yet for her right leg, so my hope is that instead of the twister cables, he will order us a set of these straps instead. They fit under her clothes, and so far she has tolerated them well...So we will see what happens. It should be an interesting appointment...and as an added bonus Mason's school will be closed that day, so he will go to Children's with us for this appointment. Hoping it all goes well. As the balancing act continues....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Day She Walked

There are moments in life that you just know, without doubt, you will remember always. You capture the images in your mind, and play them out like movies, over and over...and they always bring you right back to that time and place, where life suddenly changed, and you changed with it.

I will always remember the day my little girl walked on her own.

It started last week. After a very lazy Christmas holiday, I was so frustrated to see how much ground we had lost in PT. Maddie was not interested in cruising, standing, or using her walker. She got so used to everyone holding her, and carrying her around, that she even fussed when I'd make her crawl to me. It was a very depressing PT session. I realized that unless Maddie is pushed and challenged on a daily basis, she will not continue to progress. So I pushed. The next day I pulled the walker out, and started walking with her. After a few minutes, Maddie caught sight of our cat. She squealed and started to follow him. She was moving at a steady pace, and I soon realized she was holding her I let go.

She made it about 10 feet, before dropping to her knees to continue the chase. I was beyond excited. I was in disbelief. I still am. The next day I set her up at our doorstep, and watched as she walked to the end of our driveway and back. It's hard to believe that she just started crawling in October, and here we are now.

So then Friday I took the kids to visit my Grandparents in Hammond. They love it out there. Mason got to rake and dump leaves, and Maddie got to show her new skills.

It was such a fun day, and I was so excited to share this little miracle with them. They pray for Maddie day and night, and I knew they would appreciate those wobbly little steps as much as anyone ever would.

Look out world....This girl's going places.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Our First Attempt Pigtails!

A new year and a new look for my little bug! They were definitely crooked, and she wasn't happy with me at all, but she looked so stinkin' cute that it made up for it.

I couldn't get over how a couple of pigtails suddenly transformed my baby into a toddler right in front of my eyes...

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