Saturday, January 22, 2011


Today is a new beginning. So let me start off with some small things that made me smile this morning.

Lauren seems to know that whenever she wants a piece of food, she has to make a noise, any noise, before she gets it. She's pretty quiet in nature, so this is a huge step for her. Usually its just a quiet "hmmm" - but hey i'll take it! Furthermore, she has been for the most part consistent with this new "cause and effect" skill - and believe me this is another big step for Lauren as she is the most inconsistent little girl you will meet!
Steve noticed the other day that her pincher grip is coming along nicely. Its now almost a full pincher grip rather than a pince and rake into the palm of her hands. This was a rather pleasant surprise, because she seemed to have mature this skill on her own - without therapy, without practice, without teaching!! YAY! I know its a small thing, but just the fact that its a skill that she developed this on her own, in her own time (it was a very long time), it brought a smile to both our faces. She's also learning how to suck on her sippy a lot better these days. After her palate surgery, she still didn't get the idea of sucking on her sippy cup - she would constantly chomp on it and we ended up slitting the valves so it was almost free-pouring, even though her palate was fixed. Yesterday, we bought her new sippy cups (because the old ones were so worn) - and we only had to slit the valve a little and she was able to suck away the milk all on her own. Hopefully over the next few months, we won't have to slit the valve at all because she'll have developed a strong enough suck with her mouth muscles.

Just a quick update on my morning. The sun seems to be coming out of the clouds..

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sunny and Blue

I picked up Kayla from school yesterday and as we approached our driveway, I remarked "I think I forgot my house keys. I can't find them in my purse. We'll have to sit in the car and wait for Daddy to get home". Kayla says to me, "But mommy, how did you lock the door when you left the house?". SMART. So I think back to this morning and realise, I did not lock the door (via the house to the garage). I just shut it since Steve and the kids were leaving after me. So I told her, "Mommy did not lock the door this morning". Without hesitation, Kayla replies, "Then why don't we go through the garage?" - Meaning if the door through the garage is still unlocked from this morning, we could go through that entrance as opposed to the front entrance. SMART AGAIN.

Kayla continues to amaze me almost daily. I don't know if its because I'm constantly looking for inchstones with Lauren that I now see the inchstones with Kayla. With Kayla, everything comes naturally and quickly. One day she suddenly started putting on her own clothes, one day she suddently knew how to do her own zippers and I'm sure one day, she'll all of a sudden be able to tie her own shoes. Just the other day, she told me she can now do buttons and wanted to unbutton all the buttons on my coat for me. She is my daily dose of sunshine.

With Lauren, we have to show her everything, we have to practice everything, and even after showing and practicing what feels like the millonth time, we still have sometimes very little to no progress. I wish things came easier for Lauren. At times, the inchstones seem hard to come by, making those milestones seem even farther away. I hope this is only a rut and that we'll be out of it soon. Must be the winter blues...hopefully the sun will come out soon.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Live One Day At A Time

While the Christmas holidays have always been a time I look forward to, I must admit, I find that over the past two Christmases, I sometimes dread seeing family and friends I haven't seen in awhile. Sometimes I feel I need to catch them up on little Miss Lauren. Sometimes, there aren't any questions (not sure if that's better or worse) and I figure the way she presents herself probably speaks louder than words. Of course its always a double whammy when their little ones are doing so much more than Lauren and strides Lauren has recently taken, like holding her own cup or getting down from standing, seem so small in the grander scheme of things. In Lauren's world, they are huge steps, but in the "real" world - small potatoes. So I'll admit outright, its tough to watch Lauren's friends surpass her left, right and centre and I only presume its only getting to get tougher as she gets older. Of course, I always go back telling myself, I shouldn't compare - Lauren is genetically different, compounded with vision and hearing issues - all these other kids, including her sister Kayla, are the so-called "normal". I tell myself that over and over again, but I guess its only human nature to compare....the grass is always greener on the other side...much greener...actually the grass is gold in colour. At least that how I feel some days.

Some days I wonder if she'll ever get "there". But what and where is "there"? And maybe it doesn't matter if she gets there or not, as long as she is happy. Ever so often, I'll see an article in the paper or watch a story on tv, of a family who has a child with different needs. On Extreme Makeover House Edition, which I catch now and then - these families often not only have a special needs child(ren), but they also have housing and financial issues as well. But when I see their beautiful family portrait and here their stories of love, support, encouragement, faith and overcoming challenges bigger that what we have, it gives me strength to think that if they can do it, so can we. They have accepted what life has given them, they deal with it and they are happy.

So after reading self help books, watching a few tv episodes of shows like Parenthood, Undercover Boss, House Edition, reading articles in the newspaper, talking to family members, my note to self is:

Live one day at a time. If at the end of the night:
- I have done everything I could to make today the best day for Kayla and Lauren
- I have put forth a half decent effort to do Lauren's therapy exercises, as much as I hate doing them but know she needs them to grow and develop
- I have given Kayla the support, encouragement and praise she needs to grow up confidently and well spoken
- I have connected with Lauren, sharing some meaningful eye contact, smiles, winces, coos and laughs
- I have spent some time with Kayla and know what's on her mind, what her dreams are, what her thoughts are
- I have no regrets, no "should have done", no "could have done", no "would have done"
- Kayla and Lauren are safe, happy, healthy and know that they are loved 1000%
Then, its been a good day. And tomorrow is a new day.

And that's it. One day at a time. That's all it can be. If we call get hit by a bus tomorrow, then all that time and energy spent worrying about the future would have been such a waste. So being at peace that today has been the best day possible for my girls, helps me to get a good nights sleep.
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