Sunday, May 31, 2009

Water play


Julien and Addie had such a fun time today.
Addie has no fear of water and wanted to be right with Julien no matter what!
What sweet summer fun!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Surreal

I'm not overjoyed, I'm not emotional, I'm just here.
It is such a surreal feeling.
I haven't quite digested that this is real.
It will hit me and probably when I least expect it.
Addie's teacher's told me today that she had taken FOUR independent steps.
I just smiled and nodded.
We got her home and started putting her to the test.
On very shaky legs she stood.
There was a step, maybe two.
How many prayers have I asked you to pray over the last
880 days
or
2 years 4 months 29 days
or
76,032,000 seconds
or
1,267,200 minutes
or
21,120 hours
or
125 weeks
However you choose to calculate.
How many prayers?
Too many to count.
Our God is with us and blessing us and my gratitude goes to each and every one of you who spent countless hours in prayer for Addie.
How selfish am I?
I now ask of you to please continue your prayer.
Our journey is never ending and the road is long.
Please help me to continue to share God's grace.

One "step" closer...

video

Yes, yes, I know...it's time to upgrade our camcorder!

I'm sorry about the quality, but I wanted to share a very brief glimpse at our miracle baby and her wonderful big brother!

Little Miss Personality

video

She has the best attitude even while working so hard!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Hectic, isn't the word.



We didn't go anywhere for the long weekend and we didn't forget why we had the long weekend. We are ever so grateful to the people who serve our country and ever so proud of our family who did.
We were content to stay around town. It was crazy how busy we were, we spent the weekend taking care of errands, spending time with family, shopping and having dinner with friends and taking advantage of every second that we had.

Julien was unfortunately gone for the weekend. Addie didn't have any opportunities to play outside because of the weather, so we decided to take her to The McWane Center this morning.

She has been a couple of times, but this was the first time that she had the opportunity to play. Addie had the best time! I had forgotten over the last six-years just how difficult it is to drag a toddler away from Just Mice Size.

I was impressed with Addie, she loved playing at the water table, climbing into the castle (mental note to self: next time wear jeans and running shoes) and trying her best to keep up with the other little ones running around.

You want to know what the best part of it was?

When we got in the car to leave, I turned around and asked Addie if she had fun playing today and she said, "yes".

That little Monkey understood me.

WOW.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I could hardly speak...


for trying to hold back the tears.

I always need proof and Addie's teachers gave it to me.

They captured another amazing miracle.

Addie stood alone for a full minute and a half.

I can't stop looking at this picture. Isn't she amazing!?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cousin Itt...


in the making!

Whoa!


What was it

that brought tears to my eyes today?
You'll have to wait until tomorrow, because I have to wait to get it in order to show you.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

One smart little cookie...





Who was it again that gave me no hope for my baby?
Is it wrong or childish for the phrase, "neener, neener, neener" to be running through my mind right now?
Addie-pa-tattie wanted her toys, but her little arm couldn't reach all the way down to the bottom of the container. It didn't take her long to figure out how to get them out!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I know it may not look like it


but Chunk's legs are getting stronger! She is making progress. Before we know it, her ankles will be strong enough to keep her little feet straight and she will be well on her way to standing independently!

Can anyone say...


TANTRUM?
This moment brought to you courtesy of Tantrums by Addie.
Addie's Daddy took her cup away because she was spilling it all over herself.
I could be mistaken...
but isn't this acting like a typical child?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

With all of his heart!

Check him out!



Julien is one of the sweetest kids I've ever met -
He is so amazing on and off the playing field.

He's tough too...
he did a great job in this game and scored two points for his team.
I am so very proud of him, for all that he does.

I promise




Although it looks like Chunk is playing, she really is working very hard! She did a phenomenal job at therapy today. Addie is trying to make new sounds - she is trying really hard to say Julien!!!
Addie does very well with her therapist and has a great time!
I can see the daily progress!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Birmingham's Best!

Check this out!
I received an email today from Emily Fulton. She is getting the word out about a new business that her and her husband are part of.
You may also see the commercial airing soon...
It is:
This website is fabulous!
I can't tell you the number of times I have had someone ask me, "I have a friend coming into town, where is the best...?", well now we have a valuable resource!
http://birminghamsbest.com/ also offers the opportunity to suggest a new category or nominate a business.
I must say that I was pleased to see our very own, Fox Valley on the fine dining list!
Since I'm advertising...if you are looking for a fabulous dentist in Vestavia, give Dr. Fulton a call. You can find more information by going to the website: fulton-dental.com

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Breathe in





My sweet, sweet baby girl was so happy to bring her helmet home. When I first put it on her after we got home, she insisted that I push her around on her tricycle.
Of course I did.
Around and around the house.
Do you think her Daddy minded the rubber tires on the floor?
No, of course he didn't.
Do you think it was tough to see my baby strapped in from waist to toe with a little helmet on her head?
It would have been had I not reminded myself to breathe in and breathe out.
I had to remind myself how very blessed we are. Our miracle baby is sitting on a big girl tricycle and is ecstatic just to have the opportunity!

Addie has had three days of fun with her tricycle at school. The teachers tell me she is having a great time and her friends are enjoying taking turns pushing her around on her tricycle. Even the sweet children in the class next to Addie are excited for her! One Mom stopped me today to tell me that the children were excited to show her Addie's tricycle too!

I can tell how much this means to Addie.
She is now getting to do what her friends are doing. I am so blessed that we are surrounded by amazing people. I am so blessed that these beautiful children want to help Addie. I can only pray that we are always surrounded by good and kind people.

I just have to continue to breathe in and know that all is well. Day by day, minute by minute, progress and miracles are being made.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Two seconds

It was two seconds of a glimpse into our future.
I was holding Addie and put her down so she could get a toy. My intent was to stand her up, grab her hand and help her to the toy box. Before I could grab her hand, two seconds passed.
Two seconds of her standing alone.
Two seconds of independence.
Two seconds where she had no idea that another miracle was forming.
Two precious seconds.
I don't care if it takes another two years.
Those two seconds filled my heart with enough hope to get me through two more years.
If that is how long it takes, so be it.
It will be done.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Nice and relaxing

We met my family for lunch today at The Bright Star. We made reservations forever ago, so we didn't have to worry with a wait and the staff was amazingly quick. We had a nice time and not even the rain could dampen the mood!
Look at Addie's sweet little smile!

Mommy's Day card from Julien



This is just the cover and one page from the card Julien made for me!
Sweet, sweet, sweet!

This is what it's all about!



Happy Mother's Day!

Mommy's Day cards from Addie






Saturday, May 09, 2009

That's my boy!


5-1 win today. Last game of the regular season. I think we are headed to tournament. How exactly that happened with the way this season went, I haven't a clue.

Great job Julien!

So, it wasn't a coincidence!

Addie-pa-tattie has successfully used the potty again! WOO-HOO!!!!

Harder than you can imagine

The other day, two teachers in another classroom told me that they were watching Addie on the playground. She went over to a tricycle and was attempting to pick up the helmet off the ground and get on the tricycle.

Monkey see - Monkey do.

Of course, I started brainstorming. I decided that I could always bring Addie's tricycle to school for her. This would require that her teachers push her around (with the hand bar), but this would give her another opportunity to do what her friends were doing. I emailed the powers that be to make sure there were no health or safety concerns with my decision.

Next, I had to force myself to do something that I have been putting off since December. I had to find Addie a helmet.

Have you thought about that?
I know I have mentioned hats, hoods and headbands, but I never told you the anxiety that I have over trying to find Addie a helmet.

It is truly breaking my heart.

Chris has known the owners of Bike Link for a long time, so we decided to stop in this morning to talk to one of them.

Let me first say that this man was unbelievably compassionate. We didn't have to tell him anything about Addie, because it was obvious that there is a special need. This man was incredible. He measured Addie's head (Oh, Dear God be with me) and then started looking through books and making phone calls. He was kind and patient.

I can't even write this without tearing up...

The owner is having to get a little helmet from his other store. He will have it on Monday. We will have to take Addie back Monday afternoon and try our best to figure out how to modify the helmet for her. The owner is going to do whatever he can to help us.

I know it may seem like a simple thing to do. For us, it's not. It's hard and it breaks our hearts. It's just another reminder of how nothing is ever simple or easy. It reminds us that in order for Addie to be like her friends, we have to work harder, make modifications and paste a stupid smile on our faces so that no one will notice just how much it hurts. How much it hurts to stand in the middle of a bike shop with the cutest little helmets all lined up on the wall and for there not to be one for Addie.

Did I mention that we're even going to have to modify the little straps under her chin?

When the owner hung up the phone after finding the best helmet he could, he came over and told us that he would have it for us and that it was pink, with bunnies and would be so sweet for Addie.

Thank you God for this compassionate man. We desperately needed him.

Friday, May 08, 2009

No tissues were needed...

Today was an extremely emotional day for my family.

I started the day by having breakfast with Addie at daycare at 6:30. She felt like such a big girl because she got to sit in a big seat all by herself. It was an adult sized chair with arms and I was sitting right next to her, but none of that factored into her excitement. I hated leaving Addie that early, but she already had three other friends who were there from her class, so I knew she would have a good time.

I was at work for a while before I made the tragic decision to walk downstairs for some water. I ran into no less than ten people who stopped me to make a comment about the event that was taking place today. Of course I am not allowed to talk about this event because it wasn't anything that directly involved Chris, Julien, Addie or me. I could have kicked myself, surely dehydration would have been the smarter decision. I smiled and talked to each person and successfully held back the tears.

On my way back upstairs, a lady stopped me. She told me that she reads the blog and asked me if I had heard of a particular song - which I had not. She told me that as soon as she heard it, she thought of Addie and she proceeded to tell me what the song was about.
Inhale.
I still managed to hold back the tears, but this time it was even harder.

I have been doing some research for an item that I'm buying for Addie. This morning, I finally had to pick up the phone and call a local store. Holding back the tears after I hung up the phone was even harder than it had been earlier.

I had a Dr's appointment this afternoon that put me picking Addie up later than I had hoped. We had just enough time to meet Chris and Julien and get to Julien's soccer game before the game started. Since I was unable to go home before the game, I didn't have my camera to document my baby boy scoring two goals.
His team won 8-0.

After the game, came dinner and after the ride home, we finally managed to pull into the garage at 9:00.

It was a very long, emotional day. I'm proud of myself because I can manage to keep myself composed - most of the time.

Remember that song that I was asked about? If you have a moment, click on the link below and play the video:

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Julien - end of the year art show



After "the big game", we stopped by to see the artwork that Julien has in the end of the year show at school.
What I thought was so incredibly neat about this picture is that when Julien was a baby, my Mom gave him a little stuffed blue jay. To top that off, when we got home tonight, it was laying on the stairs. The cats evidently found it and drug it out.
Where they found it, I haven't a clue, but it was perfect timing!
Another great job, Julien! You always make me so proud!

Forfeit











We rushed home from work, changed clothes, fed the kids (thanks Mom) and back out the door we went. We rushed to the park, grabbed our chairs, Addie, Addie's car, the camera, snacks and drinks. We stepped over the mud and through the wet grass to our spot on the sidelines. We sat and waited and watched as our kids warmed up for one of the last soccer games of the season.
All to find out that the other team decided not to show. Groovy. Julien was peeved. I can't say that I blame him.
He begged me not to take pictures of him, but what other choice did I have? He's growing up so fast, I can't miss it!

Good decisions!

I took Addie for her speech therapy appointment today and I am very impressed with our new therapist! I just wanted to wrap her up and bring her home with us (in an employer/employee kind of way, not in a stalker/creepy kind of way - got it?)!
I have such incredible hope that she is going to do all that she can to help my sweet baby girl!

I will keep you all updated, but so far - wow!

Monday, May 04, 2009

I take for granted...




that everyone knows everything, so I'll back up a bit. Many of you asked who Trevin is.

Trevin is Trenton's brother. Trenton is Addie's friend that we have known since they were weeks old - we met at The Bell Center. I can't imagine my life without them.
Trevin is Julien, only nine-years older. Trevin thinks that Trenton hung the moon. Just like Julien thinks that Addie did.
They are two, amazing big brothers. Heaven sent.
Bless this family, as they have blessed my family.

So,

was it wrong of me to smile as I was being told that my little Monkey got in "trouble" today?

One of Chunk's teachers showed me a picture this afternoon...of the Monk sitting on top of one of the tables in the classroom. Her teacher told me that she was in the diapering area and looked up to see Monkus sitting on her knees on top of the table.

I hear all of this...

and I'm grinning.

There is a very fine line between discipline for a special needs child and praise for something you didn't know if they would ever do.

What does that leave you with?

A very rotten, successful child!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

It didn't take too long...



for Chunk to figure out how to climb out of her sandbox.

I am so proud of her!

Look people...

it's been a really slow news day.
The following information may be offensive to some readers. It contains way too much information. Read at your own discretion.
Keeping in mind that I have nothing of real interest to talk about, the following is very news worthy to, at the very least, the people residing under the roof in which I pay a mortgage on each month.
I will spare you all my great disdain for eating in Chinese Restaurants. Take out is fine, dine-in...not so much.
We won't even go there.
Chris had a lot going on today and when he asked if we could go out to eat - for Chinese - I resisted the urge to protest and just got in the car.
I'll skip the in-betweens...ugh.
We were on the way home when my Mommy instinct kicked in. I looked back at Monkey and asked if she needed to go potty, "ys", she answered. I told her that we were almost home and that she could use the big girl potty if she could wait.
I told her all of this just because it is what I would have told any of my children. I never expected for her to comprehend it.
When we pulled into the garage, I grabbed Monkey and up two flights of stairs we went.
I put her on the big, big potty and....she went potty.
Poo-poo potty that is.
Then, Chunkus the Monkey, reached over and tried to get the needed tissue.
All of this, the little Monkey comprehended.
So, if there ever was a poo-poo story to tell, this was it.
I don't believe I have ever been so happy to see poo-poo in a potty.
Oh...did I mention that Monkus "asked" me if she could flush the potty when she was done? Yep, that's right folks.
She leaned way over and tried with all of her might to push the lever down. Her little hand just isn't strong enough, so I put my hand on top of hers to show her how we can work on that skill.
Guess what else...she waved bye-bye to the poo-poo.
Did you ever imagine that my child, you know, the one who would never "function as a normal child", waved bye-bye to poo-poo in a big potty because she comprehended what she had just accomplished?
Well, did you?

Joy and pain

Chunky Monkey is doing quite well since her surgery.

She appears to feel better and has progressed in her verbal skills by adding a few new words. I wish I had a standing monthly appointment to go in to a physician to have Monkey's ears checked. There is an amazing difference in her when her ears are clear and open versus when the tubes are blocked or out (obviously). I just think that if I posed that request to Dr. Dudgeon or Dr. Davis, they would try to have me committed for being too much of a worrier.

When I walked in to Chunk's classroom yesterday afternoon, I was no more through the door before one of her teacher's told me that Monkey said, "Landon". I smiled and told her that I wouldn't believe her until I had proof. I also asked if anyone else was witness to this. She said that the class was sitting at circle, Chunk-Chunk said, "Landon" and for a moment, her teacher's thought it was another child. We walked over to Chunk, her teacher looked at her and told her to say "Landon" and the little Monkey did.

Can you believe it?

I was absolutely on cloud nine!

The power of prayer is absolutely amazing. Our God is amazing!

Psalm 86:12
I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I know Monkey is behind. Sometimes the reality of it is like a slap in the face, other times, it doesn't phase me.

Chunk is just now catching on to two things that I have been working with her on for months and months.

I have been trying to get her to recognize what a school bus is and what a train is. These are things that in a typical world, would have been learned long a go. Within the last two weeks, Monkey finally caught on. She would watch Julien morning after morning get on the bus and finally one morning, it just clicked. Now, on the way to school, we look for any school buses that we can find and we wave to them. Monkey also caught on to what a train is. We have to cross two sets of train tracks going to and coming home from school every day. Now, when we hear a train coming, Monkey will gasp, cover her little mouth and get really excited...and then we will wave at the train!

Last night was the perfect weather to sit outside on the grass and watch Julien at soccer practice. Monkey adores watching Julien.

She was content to put objects in and out of the trunk of her little car. She was so happy and was playing quietly, when we heard a helicopter coming. I picked her up real fast and stood her on my lap. I told her to look "up" and "listen", that the noise was a helicopter. I tried and tried. She didn't understand. I told her to look up where the birds are and still, she didn't understand. She was looking around, not up. That really hurt.

The pain didn't last because I reminded myself just how very blessed we are. It's okay that she didn't see the stinkin' helicopter. She sees the school buses and she sees the trains and you know what? In the beginning, nobody was certain that she would be able to see.

We are making progress. Please continue to pray for us. When Monkey finally looks up to the sky and finds that loud, stinkin' helicopter, I will let you know. Then we can rejoice - once again.