Tag Archives: milestones

Amateur Therapy Hour

I am an experienced communicator. Not just a little bit. It’s pretty much the core of all I have ever done in my career. I’ve recently had the aha moment that it’s because of this natural tendency to understand visual cues, translate people’s wants, find middle ground and all kinds of other puzzles that come with sending and receiving messages — that I struggle so much with this challenge I live with every day.

It feels like failure to not be able to communicate with my own daughter. It hurts every time I try to guess. She makes unexpected eye contact and grabs my hand. I say something like “are you hungry? Want to play?” But she walks away. Clearly I’ve failed. It’s been a hard existence to feel your hours and days building up and the failures outweighing the successes. We’ve spent many hours together where I just stare at her thinking it will hit me. If I watch her long enough I will be able to crack the code.

Continue reading Amateur Therapy Hour

One Month and Counting…

It’s been a long haul… We try and take it a day at a time, but every once in a while we hold our breath and put these milestones out there defying superstitions to shut us down. We will keep counting silently for as long as it takes. #epilepsywarrior #onemonth #seizurefree #okwithchange #wearpurple via Instagram http://ift.tt/1CVZQ0I

She’s On the Move

And now for the real fun! As she gets her walking legs more and more, she has started to outsmart us and it’s such a thrill to see her figure things out. Our gates don’t hold, she is always out the door before we remember to shut it, and no cabinet is safe. We find her in the strangest places — the closet, the laundry room, trying to climb in the toy box… It’s all new territory for this family.

Of course this comes with challenges. Most toddlers exploring like this also know what “No” means and have a grasp on what mommy and daddy don’t like. This girl is still oblivious. That or she has the best damn poker face on the planet. We know it means we have to be extra vigilant about her safety since she doesn’t understand the dangers around her. And of course that’s a big responsibility for Davis, too.

She’s also solving new problems. This is a great thing for Mom, Dad and Davis, who all love a good puzzle. A quick list here for my memory later:
– putting lids/tops on things
– a few new facial expressions, almost playing coy a couple times
– lifting leg to climb up on stuff
– eating from a fork (kind of)
– biting more crunchy foods — had first real rice cake today!!!
– and potentially the biggest in a while…

She is showing signs of understanding stacking! Pictures to come next time I catch her. But she is definitely close to mastering another big fine motor/cognitive development!

And all this despite having a seizure Saturday morning. Just one lonely episode. Looked the same as always, and she slept it off. But after an hour she sat up, looked at me with purpose in her big eyes and then stood up. Couldn’t believe it. Normally she would be so lethargic and wobbly. We’ve been on edge all weekend, but so far so good. Who knows why, but we will take it.

Twenty-two days to surgery and counting.

Lost in the little things

We don’t talk much about Reese’s development. In many ways it’s her biggest problem from all that we deal with every day. Of course she doesn’t know it, well most of the time. Sometimes she looks at me and is so intently talking to me with her eyes, I feel like she must be frustrated and be trying to tell me something so important. And her brother doesn’t get it because he doesn’t have anything to compare it to. So we are thankful for that, for now.

So we focus on the little things. It’s the reason we sit on the floor with her every chance we get. It’s also why I am constantly videoing and snapping photos — we never know when we are going to have a big moment.

There are so many little milestones she hasn’t hit yet that we celebrate everything. Lately, despite the hospital set back, and her ceasing all real babble talk, we are seeing little signs of progress. I mean you would hope so, considering she does therapy 3 days a week. Plus Gymboree and music class. But so much time has gone by where we focus on the big goals like feeding herself and walking, and we don’t see a change and then we get down.

So I am reveling in the little things these days.

1. Her hands. She has been picking up more things and holding two things in one hand. She crawls around and stands up and down keeping a hold of the puzzle piece or alphabet letter. Just having this control and wanting to investigate and hold and play is great to see.

2. Her feet. We went longer than most without shoes. She didn’t need them and she didn’t like them much either. So now after a few months of being more consistent we have news.

You don’t realize this as a first-time parent but it’s a big deal to get dressed. You dress your kid every day as an infant and then one day they start pushing a little to help you get stuff on. And then without much coaxing they are doing it more and you just take it for granted. It’s normally about 9 months. Reese started working with us on arms and legs in July at about 16 months. So when she picked up her foot to put her shoe on last weekend, we were floored. She has even put a shoe to her foot showing she knows there is a connection. Also huge.

3. Her magnets. She has refrigerator magnets, both alphabet and animals. Loves them these days. Can pull them off and bang them together like a rock star drummer with his sticks. She always has one in each hand.

Last night I watched her slowly and deliberately push the magnet to the board, it stuck, and she let go just as slowly. And then she tried the other one but it was facing the wrong way. I encouraged her several more times and we clapped each time. Then she was done.

At least she was done with me. She moved over to a book and placed her two pieces on the book and studied them up close. Then picked them up, did her drummer thing and slowly put them down on the book. And clapped her hands, very proud of herself.

Amazing! Is this her mirroring me? Maybe. Is she just pleased with herself? Probably.

I realize it’s hard to not be in my shoes and still get excited. But here’s the catch. Reese throws everything. Not even throws, that would require intent. She drops. She has body awareness issues and when something in her hands moves away from her body like when she puts her arms out in the airplane pose, she forgets it is in her hand and drops it.

You have no doubt seen video of her doing this. It’s all she does. Until now. 🙂

4. Her kisses. We may have lost her talking, but I will never get tired of her little open-mouthed kisses. Somehow, somewhere in that tired brain of hers she knows this is something we do. Does she know it means I love you? I hope so.

There are times I think her instinct is to turn her head and pull away when she sees us come in for the kids. She doesn’t like people in her face. I don’t blame her. The meds, the pokes and all the doctors — it’s a lot. So sometimes she paused and looks at me and looks away but she doesn’t push me back. She holds still for the kiss and every once in a while she even leans in. We will take it.

Everything about her is little. I love her tiny feet and her soft skin. It’s wonderful to hold her and celebrate. But it’s even greater a feeling to just watch her as she figures this stuff out herself. And as far as we know from doctors of all kinds, the fact that she keeps finding new things to conquer is a good sign.

And that is why we are happily lost in the little things.