So these days we are seeing Lauren do more actions! Lauren's waving and clapping have come back (after a period of regression), and she is now starting to sign "more" and "all done" occasionally with some prompting. Interestingly, when the lights and cameras are on, she actually shys away and chooses not to perform. Like she knows people are watching, anticipating her to deliver and waiting for the moment to congratulate her and say "good job Lauren!". So knowingly instead, Lauren gives a shy little smile and turns away, leaving me with lots of disappointed video footage.
We have noticed that Lauren has made some gains recently and is beginning to follow some simple directions, which we are so happy about. For the longest time, we were in a constant wonder of whether Lauren heard us or understood us. Now at least we know she is hearing and starting to understand. She takes longer to process and to understand what we are asking of her, but with constant practice and repetition, she is learning how to interpret the language and what we are expecting her to do. Lauren is learning to share, put in, take out, pick up and give. Lauren continues to do music therapy and both her therapist and her school teachers have said they have heard her vocalize "more" a few times. I have heard it too, but it is still quite inconsistent and requires prompting, so we'll keep trying.
Lauren is enjoying school these days with her teachers reporting that she is full of smiles and laughs. They tell me she is "singing" to herself while completing activities, which I think is actually just a nice way of saying she makes annoying noises to herself when engrossed in doing something. I will audio tape it one day - it really is just a grunting type noise but her kind teachers call it "singing".
Lauren has been learning how to sort by colour at school and I couldn't believe it (neither could Steve) when she brought home this arts and craft, with the teacher commenting that she had done almost all of it on her own (after practicing the same activity 4 days consecutively). Yes I know it took the 5th try for Lauren to get it right, and its only 2 colours, but hey at least she got it! Way to go Lauren!!! Of course I had to take a picture. I've never been prouder of her.
So yes Lauren is coming along. As an individual, she is progressing on her own and in her own way. I love living in Lauren's world because its actually so much fun, just snuggling up with her, tickling and laughing with her and just being silly. She loves to be chased by Kayla and loves to play with her sister's toys and books. I love enjoying Lauren as a regular a mom and not as a mom with a watchful eye.
But in the real world, it gets kinda scary seeing where she is compared to other kids. Her younger cousin and friends are already surpassing her in so many ways and it definitely serves as a reminder that she is different and behind. It kinda sucks, I never did want to go to Holland, I actually wanted to go to Paris or New York, but it looks like life has put us on a different path. But the therapy, the appointments, the unknowns has become part of our new norm. We are planting tulips in Holland, letting the windmills turn, and starting to learn to love and find happiness in our new found home.