Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Easter picture

Here are Emma and Owen on Easter morning. They were both feeling a little under the weather, and Owen literally kept his outfit on for about 2 minutes after this picture was taken....but, it was a good Easter:). Emma has fun finding eggs. We had to laugh at her as she found the eggs and THREW them in the basket....literally (picture crashing sounds!).

Here's an Emma funny for the day. Our family went to lunch the other day and anytime that her dad would hand her anything she would say, "Thank you Tim". Anytime that I would hand her anything she would say, "Thank you Mrs. F______(insert our last name:))". So, Tim said to her, "Well, aren't you little Miss Manners today". Emma said, "NO, call me Emma please". HA! Too funny!

Also, when we were on a walk yesterday, Emma said, "Today, you should call me Honey". I would say, "OK Honey". Then she would say, "No, today you should call me Sweet Pea". I would say, "OK Sweetpea". Then, she would say, "No, today call me Pumpkin Pie". And on, and on.....I really didn't realize that I had so many different nick names for her:).

Another funny (kind of???)....tonight we were at Kmart. We were in the women's clothes, and Emma gave a BIG sigh and said, "Ugh, I hate this". I said, "Well, we don't say that word, but what is it that you don't like". She gave another BIG sigh and said, "These stupid clothes!". Where does the girl come up with these things? Although she does have quite the attitude, and I don't really like that.....it still makes me smile! Is that so wrong????

Have a great week!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Words I Needed to Hear

I've waited 5 1/2 years, and I honestly never thought that I would hear the words, but today was the day. We had Emma's IEP today, and her speech therapist actually said the words, "She is functioning at an AGE APPROPRIATE level in her receptive speech!". I have dreamt about the day that anyone would tell me that she was functioning at an age appropriate level in ANY area...so, for me (and of course for Emma) this is HUGE!!! It is a day of celebration in our house!

Other things that were SO amazing to hear in her IEP....she has gone from 30% intelligible speech to 68%. She has gone from an average of 1.6 words per sentence to 4.9 words per sentence. That is a HUGE gain in 8 months! I know that I am focusing the most on her speech because that is the area that she has made the most growth. However, ALL of her therapists were extremely impressed by the gains that she has made.

I actually achieved 2 new "areas of growth" myself today:
1) I made it through an entire IEP meeting without crying

2) I left the meeting with my head held high and a HUGE smile on my face

I LOVE Emma's therapy team!! They all work together and they have HOPE for Emma. They BELIEVE in her and her abilities. THAT is what she needs the most right now....and I am thrilled that she is getting it!

Today was an amazing day! I have known that she has made great gains this year, but to hear it from "the professionals" really was something that I needed. It made my heart so happy!

Thanks for letting me share:). She truly is a miracle in every aspect of the word! I think back to those early IEP's and today is just a miraculous day! 5 years ago I never would have dreamed that I would be typing this post:). It's a good feeling!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Made "The Corner"

Finally....today Emma has turned the corner and is feeling better. PHEW! That one really wiped her out. I had to take her back to the ped. yesterday for a different antibiotic, but this one seems to be doing the trick:). We went on a car trip today...just the kiddos and me. We were all in the car for 5 hours and they were "rock stars". They were SO incredibly GOOD! On the way home we were listening to Hannah Montana (oh course...is there anyone else?). Emma was singing the song, "Nobody's perfect". She knows almost all of the words, and she does these crazy dance moves with it...it is HILARIOUS!

It got me thinking.....(yep....here goes), the other day I was on a forum that I frequent. A mom on there is pregnant with her 2nd child. She just got the results back from her bloodwork saying that she has a 1:300 chance of having a baby with Down's syndrome. She is understandably worried, and I completely understand. This mom's 1st child has special needs, and I do completely understand her concern. I've been there....a year ago...when I was pregnant with Owen. However, what I am struggling with is the comments that some people made to her stating that "so and so" had a greater chance of having a baby with Down's...now that child is 6 and "perfect in every way". HMMMMMM....even if a child is born with a syndrome....the child is still the picture of PERFECT! That child is EXACTLY the way that God made them. I cannot look at my child and think she is anything BUT perfect....she's AMAZING!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Staying AWAY from ER

Emma has an infection in her trachea??? She is coughing like a seal, and she spiked a fever of 103 today. She has literally slept all day long. So, I took her to the pediatrician this afternoon, and she has a virus that is in her trachea. I've never heard of such a thing. So, he put her on oral steroids and an antibiotic. He said that some kids are resistant to the oral steroids and if she acts like she is having trouble breathing to take her to the ER where they would give her breathing treatments and place her in an oxygen tent. Luckily, it seems like the steroids are working. Coughing has become much less frequent. She's still pretty lethargic, but she still has her fever also. So, we're hoping the fever comes down and tomorrow is a better day. I was just saying the other day that last Easter was her 1st ever to not be in-patient. She had always been in the hospital before that. Let's home that we can stay at home through this Easter season also:).

On a different note.....5 inches of snow today????? WHAT?? When is spring going to get here? Apparently Mother Nature has not received my memo!!!

Have a great Friday!!!

Owen is a FISH!

Owen is growing by leaps and bounds....changing every day. He is obsessed with the water, and always wants to be in the tub. Sometimes I put both kids in at the same time, however it gets pretty crazy with both of them in. So, most of the time I will bath one then the other. Well, this morning as I was giving Emma her bath, Owen was standing on the side of the tub (like he always does) laughing at his sister. I went to grab the shampoo, and he FLIPPED INTO THE TUB!!! He was just giggling and laughing...so proud of himself for being IN the tub WITH his PJs AND his diaper on! It was definitely a photo moment!! He is just TOO funny! Emma thought it was hilarious:).

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

We've Been "Egged"

A few moments ago while I was sitting on my couch relaxing:) the doorbell rang.....it was 8:45 don't people know that I have small children????? So, I went to the door and there were colored paper eggs taped all over my front door. I opened the door to see a yummy box of chocolates on my steps with a cute colored bunny on it and a sign that said "You've been "egged"". What a fun idea...wish that I was that creative:). I wish that Emma had been awake...I think that I might put the box of chocolates back on the step and ring the doorbell in the morning (the eggs are still taped to the door) and let her go answer it:). She'll LOVE it:).

OK....time for bed. I hope that you all have a restful night's sleep. Tomorrow is our last day of school before spring break....I am SOOOOOO ready!

OH, and Emma had a full day with no hitting or pushing today! WHOOOHOOOO! I know that that should be a given, BUT that is how she shows her excitement. We have really been working on it, and I am SOOOO proud of her!! We made a special trip to the toy store (where she picked out a bat and ball.....good for appropriate hitting, right). Yeah Emma:)! Way to go little one!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Our World's Collided

On the day that she was born...our world's collided. It was not an easy transition. It was like being thrown off a cliff, falling, falling, falling, and finally plunging into ice cold water, struggling to find the surface.....I could see it, but I couldn't get there...I couldn't breath, until finally I emerged through the surface and took a deep breath....my first breath into this new world that I had collided into.

No one dreams of living in this world. When we are pregnant we do not have dreams about having a child with special needs. We do not wish for a child that has any kind of difficulties. No one says, "Yes, I am hoping that this child that is in my womb will need to live with me for the rest of her life." This world is truly a world that no one wishes to become a part of. I believe that is why the transition into this world must be abrupt....with little or no time to think about it. One day you are in the "typical" world...and the next BOOM you enter this world of special needs parents...wandering around trying to find their way. I glance back at the "typical" world where the people seem so carefree, able to do things on a whim without the methodical planning of how it will affect their special needs child.

The most difficult part for me has been the sense of being alone...as if no one understands me anymore. It's true that I am the same person that I was before Emma was born, but I have been transformed and it is difficult for people in the "typical" world to understand some of my "special needs parenting world" ways. I am more fragile than I was before. I am more sensitive...especially when it comes to Emma. I see things in a completely different way now than I did before I became Emma's mom. I long to find the mom who I can connect with...who can understand my frustrations, my joys, my sorrows, and my fears. When I'm with a group of "typical" mom's and they are talking about when their children were babies...I like to add my own stories, but all of Emma's stories are hospital related....and they make the other mom's feel uncomfortable. Heaven forbid they must be a visitor to my world for a few moments.

I can look back and say that I am thankful to be in this new world. I cannot imagine NOT being Emma's mom. I am a better person for all that I have gone through with her. Life gets easier and easier as Emma gets older. I am able to breath much more freely. At times my head is dunked back into the ice cold water, but it is brief and I am able to see things even more clearly once I come up again.

Yes, it's a completely different world than it was before I had Emma (part of that is simply becoming a first time parent), but I wouldn't change it for a second.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Thank God for Swings!

Well....let's just say that my day wasn't quite as "cozy" as I was hoping it would be. The pajama thing lasted until about 10:00...then, it was time to hit the showers and make a run to the Vortex...otherwise known as Wal-Mart. We missed a birthday party yesterday and had to get a present. Well, buying a birthday present sent Emma into a frenzy thinking that she was going to a party....then, suddenly it turned into, "It must be MY birthday". I said to her, "No, Emma it's not your birthday". To which she started to cry and repeat over and over and over and over (ok you get the point) again "Soon....soon....soon....soon!". UGH!

We return home and her amped up excitement just continued to mount....and so did her nautiness!!! Yes, definitely not a day to remain inside for my peaceful dream of a day. So, since the weather had turned into a balmy spring day in beautiful Wyoming (a whopping 34 degrees...break out the bikini!!!), I raced her to the swings...where we stayed for over an hour. Owen was really excited for the first 5 minutes or so...then he was SO over it. He remained a good sport as if he knew that sissy had to wind down or Mama was going to LOSE IT!!!

Tim arrived home and we all went out to dinner (what in the world was I thinking?). Emma was still a bit wound...her voice a bit (OK a LOT) louder than normal., but we made it through.

Both children are in bed now....coughing. Here's hoping that it is not a sign of yet another round of antibiotics in our house.

Dear Spring,

Could you PLEASE show your warm and pleasant face and kick the winter weather off on it kiester as soon as you can? We need you to kill all of those NASTY germs that seem to multiply while the winter air is hanging around. It IS April after all.....snow is in the past....we need some good ol' sunshine to shine down on us:).

Thank you!!!

What a GREAT day!

Days like today are days that I live for:)....staying in our PJ's all day, making cookies, just hanging out with my kiddos. Daddy is working today, and it's just me and the kiddos home to play:). I love to go go go too....but sometimes I just dream about having a day like today. Now, I wish the weather would cooperate just a little (OK a LOT more). 25 degrees with LOTS of wind and snow is not my idea of a good day outside, but that is just one more reason to stay inside in our PJ's all cuddled up in blankets reading:). Oh! I hear the fireplace calling me saying, "please build a fire inside of me". OK....I must go....enjoy YOUR day!

Do you love days like this? What are you doing on this fine Sunday? Is the weather crap where you are??

Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Healing Place

This is going to be a rambling post....it may not even make any sense, but it is important to me to attempt to write it down.

Having a second child has caused me to really look back at when Emma was a baby. I knew at the time that it was a difficult time in my life. I knew that every single time that Emma threw up I wanted to scream and hide...hide from the reality that was my life. I knew that each time she was hospitalized it scared me to my very core...that fear that I was going to lose my baby was a fear that I experience over and over and over again. But, in those moments I also knew that I was extremely fortunate to still have my child with me. I knew that the future was before us....even though I was petrified to think about what it could be.

At times I try to embrace all of the thoughts and feelings that I had during that time. My mind can remember, my heart can feel the joys and the pains that were all wrapped into one, but I have a very difficult time writing my feelings down...or telling someone about them. Maybe it is because they are in the past, and I feel as if I should move on and bury them....after all our lives have evolved into health and happiness that we never would have dreamed possible at this time 5 years ago. But, when I sit down and really think about that first year with Emma....it will bring me to tears within moments.

Tim and I often say that we are glad that Emma was our first. We feel this way for many reasons, but mostly because we were able to focus 100% of our energy on her care at the time that she needed us most. We feel that if we'd had another child at the time it would have been very difficult to divide our time and strength between the two. We are also glad that she was our first because we knew nothing else. Granted, we knew that throwing up 4-5 times per day was not "normal", but it was all that we knew, so we were able to tell ourselves that it must be "close to normal" right? She would just "grow out of it", right?

Since the birth of Owen, I have been able to look back at the first year of Emma's life and realize how incredible it is that we all survived that 1st year. I am so very proud of Tim and myself for getting through it and continually encouraging Emma to be her very best. Every milestone that Owen achieves (incredible that they actually can meet those milestones WITHOUT the help of 7 different therapists) allows me to think back to the time that Emma met that milestone. Yes, she met all of the milestones much later than he is meeting them, but she MET them, and I am SO proud of her for that.

Don't get me wrong. I am not comparing my children to each other. They are both very unique individuals that are forging their own paths, and I love that about each of them. I am just learning so much about myself by watching Owen grow. I never realized just how difficult life was back then. I never realized how much out of the realm of normal our lives were. When Emma was almost 1 year old she was on 15 medications a day, oxygen 24 hours a day, throwing up 4-5 times a day, and seeing 7 different therapists. That was just the way it was.....and the amount of stress that went along with it I can now see was enormous.

I watch Owen and I see that he is learning to do things himself, he is not taking any medications, and he eats everything in sight. By watching this I realize how healing it has been for me to have a healthy child. I do not take ANYTHING for granted. I value every second of every day. I realize that I am finally in The Healing Place...the place that I have needed to be. I can now sit back and enjoy watching BOTH of my healthy kids playing together. It really is a GREAT place to be:).

Friday, April 03, 2009


It is simply AMAZING to me the calming effect that overcomes me when I hear the breathing pattern change. You know...when you're standing outside your child's room waiting for the sandman to come. I can hear her looking through the book, talking to herself, then I hear her put the book down, reposition herself, and suddenly...there it is....that moment where she drifts off to sleep. Suddenly the pattern of her breathing is so soothing. Sometimes, the half crazy mama in me creeps in and sits next to her just to soak in the calm in the room. I have even been known to climb into bed with her (which is quite an amusing sight since she is still in a toddler bed) just to listen, to watch, to relax.

Is it just me? Do you love to listen and watch your child sleep? Does it have the calming effect over you?

However, I also LOVE the laughter, silliness, constant questioning, sassiness, etc. that comes when my girl is AWAKE:).

Emma funny:
While driving in the car:
Me...."Yes, Honey".
Emma...."You call DADDY honey...you call ME sweetie".

Geez! I DO need to get my nick names straight! I can always count on Em to keep me in line:).

Have a Happy weekend!!!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Goodbye Megan...

Yes, we are BIG American Idol fans in our house. Emma truly thinks that she will be on the show one day, and of course I will support her in anything that she does in her life.

Tonight, while watching the elimination of another American Idol contestant...I was so excited to see that Megan was in the bottom 3. Then, it happened! In the midst of her silly faces, goofy sounds, and birdlike movements, they announced that she was going home. A small cheer erupted from my living room (small.... to not wake up my 2 sleeping beauties). Then, Megan had to go and blow my celebratory dance and joy by pulling the "Mama card". She thanked her fans, the judges, yada-yada-blah-blah...then, she said it...."Baby, I'm coming home" (as she kissed the locket around her neck). Yep, that did it!! The tears streaming down my face at a girl that I really didn't like only minutes before.

While I am still glad that Megan is not going to torture us with her voice anymore...I am glad that she is going home to her Baby. I'm sure that he is ready to see his Mama again.

So, are there any Idol fans out there? I'm voting for Danny Gokey and I think Adam Lambert ("the Egyptian guy" according to my 1st grade girls because of the Burning Ring of Fire song:) is in the lead....by many many miles!!!