Saturday, January 27, 2007

Our Little Cheerleader

I have to admit that we are not huge football fans in our house. However, I always try to root for one of the teams during the superbowl. This year the Colts and the Bears are in the Superbowl. Granted I have no big ties to either team....which has made me think that I need to find out more about the teams:). I have followed a Caringbridge page for a little boy named Donovan The family LOVES the Colts. I have always had a smile on my face as I read how much they love their little Donovan....and their amazing Colts. Little Donovan, just 2 years old, earned his angel wings the day before the colts played their last game. I honestly feel that they won that game (just the end) just for Baby D. So, a part of me really wants to root for the Colts.

HOWEVER, the other day we were in the basement sorting through Emma's clothes (ones she has outgrown....and upcoming hand-me-downs). She reached into a box and pulled out a dress. She INSISTED on putting it on. When I looked at it again. I realized it was a BEARS cheerleading outfit. Apparently Miss Em has her own team that she plans on rooting for. AND, it looks like she has found her true calling in life (Aunt Beck....she wants YOU to be her agent). I'm thinking that she will go far with this career move.

Here she is practicing her dance moves:
Bears cheerleader 1

Here she is working on her "girlish figure":
Bears cheerleader 2

Then, she MUST practice her posing for all of those photo shoots:
Bears cheerleader 4

Who could say no to this sweet face...with all of the beautiful hair:
Bears cheerleader 3

So, it looks like our houshold will be split this year on who should win the Superbowl. I would still like the Colts to win.....for the honor of Baby D. However, my little Bears cheerleader does make it difficult not to think about the Bears as a possibility. So, I guess that I will be happy either way!!!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Stay at home Moms

I have been home with Emma for the last few days. Our babysitter's children have been sick, and it is very difficult to find someone else to watch Miss Em. So, I am glad to take on the job. However, does it make me a bad person to say that I don't think that I could do this every day? I truly value those mother's that do stay at home...I think it is wonderful. When I stay at home with Emma too much I just find myself getting more and more frustrated...with her, with our situation, with the world, with EVERYTHING!! I find myself just letting her watch T.V. (before I was a Mom...I said, "I would never let my child watch TV too much......I said never to many things....before I was a mom). Maybe if I was a stay at home mom I would go out and do more in the community? When I am just home "sick" with her (although she is not sick....a teacher cannot be seen out in public on a school day). I feel that teaching is the best job to have if you have to work as a mom. I get long vacations, and I get off at a decent time. However, I feel the pressure from those around me who tell me, "just stay at home with her". Well, #1 I CAN"T stay husband is also a teacher, and one income is not enough to support us! and #2 I don't think that I would value my child as much if I was home with her ALL of the time. Is that a bad thing? Probably! Is it bad to think about having another child....and not planning to stay at home with that one either? Is someone else truly raising my child? I look forward to the day that Emma can come to school with me and be in my classroom. I know that if I give my job up it would be very difficult to get another teaching job in this district, and I truly have my dream job. I have a classroom of 10 children, and I love the people that I work with. Then, there is always the fear that creeps in that my babysitter may move or say she doesn't want to watch Miss Em anymore....THEN what do I do.

See, staying at home just makes me think too much! I think about the future and all of the "what if's"'s not healthy!!

The King Penguin

My students are learning about penguins....all kinds of penguins. Yesterday we were discussing the king penguin. The king penguin weighs approximately 30 pounds and is 32-35 inches tall. Well, guess who else weighs 30 pounds and is 32 inches tall (I last post kind of gave it away)....Miss Em!!! I wonder how she would do if I sent her to Antarctica:). I'm not thinking that she would do so well:). Still, I found it to be an interesting association.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

We've reached the big 3-0!!!!

No, I am not talking about 30 years of age:)....that TRULY feels like forever away for Miss Em....and that's OK by me:). I mean that we have reached a HUGE milestone of.......are you ready for this????.......30 pounds!!! I am not sure that I ever thought the day would come! 30 pounds is HUGE for us:). Granted I used our home scale to weigh her because....are you ready for THIS???......we haven't been to the doctor AT ALL for more than 2 months. Yes, 2 months!!! Now, I am knocking HARD on wood!

Emma is truly making so many gains right now and it is fun to watch. She is starting to talk more and more (something that I have dreamed about all of her life). She is healthy, and she is gaining weight. What more can I ask for? Now, I could pass on the orneriness that she seems to be trying out, but goes with the 3 year old territory, right? I'm lovin' it:)!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

You are my sunshine

The sun is shining through once again. I believe that it is part of the roller coaster of being a parent of a child with special needs. Some days/weeks/months are very very dark. I try to keep those periods of time short....and to myself. However, it does help me to write about it. It does not make it go away, but it makes it more bearable. I always look forward to the moment when I can see the bright and shining light once again. I can see the sun shining through
and the name of the shining
Em and me
The beautiful sleeping face that pops the shower curtain open each morning and says, "haaaaa" (her new hi....we don't quite have the long i sound yet....but, we'll take it). The sound of pitter patter feet in the middle of the night, and the finger poking me in the eye along with the sweet little voice saying, "mom, mom, mom" then making the drinking sound to let me know that she would like something to drink.

Yes, my "normal" may be a bit different than others, and I do sometimes grieve over the life that I have dreamed about every day (the one where I would have the child at the top of her class....the one where I could read the book What to Expect the Toddler Years...and I could relate to every single page....please note that all of those books were burned in my house when Emma was 3 months old:). However, one dream that I always had is being achieved every single day....I DO have the perfect little girl that I always dreamed about. She was made absolutely perfectly....the way SHE was meant to be.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Somedays I think my mind just needs to take a vacation and go somewhere else. I believe today is a day that it should have done that....because it is thinking entirely too much! Emma and I have the day off today...YEAH!! We have the day off for "equality day"...otherwise known as Martin Luther King Day. My husband does not have the day off....apparently they do not have enough ethnic diversity in the community??? Today is also my brother-in-laws birthday. We were invited to go out to breakfast with my sister, brother-in-law, their 3 boys, and her mother and father in-law. Emma was eating like a champ, and I was actually breathing (I am usually holding my breath at a restaurant, scoping out where the bathroom is, and contemplating the quickest and easiest path I can take to get to the bathroom once my child has thrown up). However, today seemed like a different day. We were going to make it through this meal. All was going to be OK. WRONG!!!! Emma shoved too much toast into her mouth, gagged, and yes you guessed it....threw up. Luckily, I had the "bucket bib" in place and caught all of it. However, the humility of it hit me like a ton of bricks. Tears flooded my eyes and flowed down my cheeks as I quickly walked to the bathroom to empty the contents of the bib and wash it out. Of course I quickly composed myself and came out looking fresh and ready to take on the world again. I may look that way on the outside, but everytime that happens a little piece of my dignity goes along with it. Times like that make me look at my future....a future that no one knows. Will I one day have a 12 year old that still has to wear a bib and throws up?? Will this ever get better? Tears they come! Where is the God that is supposed to listen to my prayers? How many times have I prayed in the last 3 1/2 years? Yes, my child is with me, and for that I truly am thankful. I just want her to have an easier life. I need help! Words of advise from other parents that have been there? How do you cope with what may/may not be in the future?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

2007....fitting in????

I find myself lost as 2007 begins. I am slowly removing myself from existance. It may sound harsh, but I believe that is what is happening. I've been trying to piece together why I just want to remove myself from all around me. I can't completely put my finger on it...but I do know that I am tired of my "new normal". Sure, the Polly Anna in me wants to say, "There is no such thing as normal" or "everyone has their troubles" or "Normal is just a setting on the dryer". I know that it's true...each and every person has something going on in their lives that others may not consider "normal". Here's the "not-so-normal" life is SO obvious to anyone that comes into contact with me. My child who I love dearly does not talk....and she throws up...A LOT (on top of the 10+ surgeries that she has had in her short life)!!! I just find myself longing to at least look "normal" again. Is that so wrong? I'm not embarrassed or ashamed of my child. I love her, and I would fight (and I have) for her. I just wonder....when will this new normal feel OK??? I've been struggling with this for 3 1/2 years. In so many ways it has become much easier, but in some ways it is getting more difficult. The older Emma gets...the more people expect her to be able to do. The bar continues to raise....and we continue to plateau (or make very slow progress). When can I reconnect with society and become the "wall flower" that I once was...simply blending in with my surroundings and going with the flow. I guess I just want to fit in once again. It is human nature to want acceptance, and I believe that it is even more important to feel that your offspring will be accepted. So, 2007 may be a year of learning to accept my new normal....that is my hope and my RESOLUTION!!!!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Wonderful Christmas break!

Well, today is the last day of our break. It is so nice to have a spouse that is also a teacher. We have enjoyed every moment of our time off together, and we look forward to the year ahead.

I thought I would share a "few" pictures:
The first is what Emma thought of Santa this year...petrified would be a good year. However, being the "GREAT" Mom that I am...I just HAD to get a picture. So, here it is
Emma and Santa 2006

So, Christmas morning when Emma heard that Santa had been to our house....and he left lots of toys. I THOUGHT she would be excited. She was..petrified. .. she tought he was still there. We had to practically drag her out of her room. She clung to her Dad's leg.
Em afraid of santa

She enjoyed the rest of the day...and she looked oh so sweet:)

Two days later Emma got her first professional hair cut. I have cut about a foot off on my own, but I decided it was time for someone who knows what they're doing to give it a try.
Haircut 2
She would only sit on the chair if the beautician's daughter sat on the chair first:).

Can you tell that she got it cut? Not really, but it did make it easier to comb through, and that was the goal!

We also enjoyed a GREAT trip into Yellowstone National Park on a snow coach over break. To see the beauty and peace in the park is magical. The shimmering snow that has not been touched is so amazing! Emma loved it too, and she was truly an angel for the entire trip. Here are a few pictures:
YS 1
YS 2
YS 3
YS 4
YS 5
YS 6
YS 7
YS 9
Happy New Year to all!!! 2007 is going to be a FABULOUS year!!!